On February 2, 2011, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) issued the first “Myth-Buster” memorandum entitled Addressing Misconceptions to Improve Communication with Industry during the Acquisition Process. On May 7, 2012, OFPP issued the second “Myth-Busters” entitled “Myth-Busting 2”: Addressing Misconceptions and Further Improving Communications During the Acquisition Process. The second memorandum is a very important and positive step. It shows that improving communication between government and industry and supporting the acquisition workforce remain key procurement policy priorities for OFPP and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Coalition also continues to support OFPP’s efforts.
The GSA Expo is a Myth-Busters event. It provides a forum for government and industry to discuss current procurement policies, operations, requirements and management initiatives. In particular, the Expo provides an opportunity for dialogue regarding GSA’s key acquisition programs including the largest government-wide contracting program for commercial services and products, Multiple Award Schedules (MAS). The government-industry exchanges that take place at the Expo are consistent with OFPP’s Myth-Busters initiative. More importantly, the dialogue and discussion surrounding GSA’s key programs leads to better understanding between the parties as well as improvements in program operations. Better understanding and improved program operations leads to better results for customer agencies and the taxpayer. As noted in the very first line of OFPP’s second “Myth-Busters” memorandum, “Early, frequent, and constructive engagement with industry leads to better acquisition outcomes. . . .” The dialogue at the Expo contributes to better acquisition outcomes through GSA’s government-wide acquisition program.
The GSA Expo also provides over 10,000 hours of training for government and industry acquisition professionals and program managers. This training supports the professional development of hundreds of government contracting procurement personnel. (For the sake for disclosure, I will be participating as an instructor at the Expo.) Fundamentally, the success of our acquisition system is dependent on the skills and capabilities of the acquisition workforce. As such, the GSA Expo is a sound investment and partnership for better acquisition outcomes. It leverages training resources and provides comprehensive education on all aspects of GSA’s government-wide contracting programs. Through Expo acquisition training customer agency personnel gain greater knowledge and understanding of how GSA’s programs work which leads to better acquisition outcomes when using GSA contract vehicles. Better acquisition outcomes mean better results for customer agencies and the taxpayer.