Myth-busting is hard, but rewarding work! Last week’s Excellence in Partnership (EIP) Awards Dinner and Fall Conference reflected the hallmarks of myth-busting: government-industry dialogue and the importance of effective communication and mutal understanding.

The EIP Awards Dinner was wonderful! The dinner honored individuals and organizations from government and the contractor community who have made a difference in improving the procurement system and delivering best value to the taxpayer. The dinner also served as a wonderful opportunity for government and industry to share thoughts and observations regarding GSA’s leading role in the procurement system. Dan Gordon, Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, Steve Kempf, Commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service, and Bill Gormley, Chairman of The Coalition for Government Procurement, provided their thoughts and insights regarding the importance of communication and trust. Congratulations to all the awardees!

Throughout the Fall Conference, government and industry engaged in ongoing discussions of the key issues and challenges facing the procurement system. Conference attendees were treated to two days of thoughtful presentations and engaging conversations regarding strategic sourcing. MAS pricing policies and practices, data collection, the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), audits, and sustainability.

As a result of the conference’s dialogue, the Coalition will be establishing at least three working groups. One working group will focus on the MAS pricing policies and procedures with the goal of providing positive recommendations regarding the current structure and implementation of the policies. Another working work will address the implementation of the TAA as it applies to GSA’s government-wide contract vehicles (schedules and GWACs). The final working group will address the leasing terms and the current policies, procedures and/or contract terms with the goal of identifying and recommending cost effective, efficient, and competitive modifications to enhance the value of the MAS program for customer agencies and provide best value to the taxpayer. In November the Coalition will be reaching out to members seeking participants for the working groups. I look forward to hearing from you. Indeed, Myth-Busting is hard work. But the potential rewards compel us to Myth-Bust! Effective communication leads to better understanding between government and industry. Better mutual understanding of requirements and procedures leads to increased competition, enhanced efficiency and improved contract outcomes for government and industry. Ultimately, the taxpayer wins. That is what it is all about.

I would like to thank all the speakers and panelists for your participation. A special thanks to Dan Gordon and Steve Kempf for speaking at both the EIP Awards Dinner and the Fall Conference. They both “walk the talk” regarding Myth-Busters. Thank you to Congressman Gerry Connolly for providing the Fall Conference’s Day 1 keynote address. Thank you to Steve Schooner, Professor and Co-Director of the Government Procurement Law Program, George Washington University, for delivering the Day 2 keynote address. And thank you to Bill Gormley for speaking at the EIP Awards Dinner and on Day 1 and 2 of the Fall Conference.

Thank you to my staff for all their hard work in pulling this event together. I truly appreciate all your hard work-the long days and nights, the stress, the incredibly intricate logistics. I heard many, many compliments regarding both events! The comments are a tribute to all your hard work. Well done!

I hope that you had a Happy Halloween!

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