This week Dan Gordon, Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, announced that he would be leaving the Office of Federal Procurement Policy by the end of the calendar year. On January 1st he will join the George Washington University Law School as Associate Dean for Government Contracts Law. I am very happy for Dan and know he will truly enjoy training the next generation of government contracts lawyers. However, his departure is significant for the federal procurement system. His open, pragmatic and thoughtful procurement policy leadership will be missed.
As you know, we were honored to have Dan speak at the Coalition’s Excellence in Partnership (EIP) Awards Dinner and the Fall Conference. The theme of the EIP Awards Dinner and the Fall Conference was “Myth-Busters, Partnerships and Challenges.” Dan addressed many of the Administration’s key contracting initiatives including strategic sourcing, interagency contracting and the acquisition workforce. As the driving force behind the Myth-Busters campaign, Dan provided his insights regarding the origins of the campaign and imperative to improve communications between government and industry during the acquisition process. In particular, Dan emphasized the importance of government-industry communications during the requirements development phase in ensuring effective solutions at reasonable prices.
As I stated at the Fall Conference, Dan “walks the talk.” During his tenure at OFFP, Dan listened and asked the key questions of stakeholders from across the spectrum. By seeking out various viewpoints and asking the right questions, Dan changed the tone around procurement. His openness and thoughtful dialogue, in my view, has brought us back to the basics (e.g., identifying, discussing and implementing policies and procedures make good procurement sense).
Importantly, Dan reached out to the acquisition workforce, reestablishing the “Frontline Forum” where contracting professionals on the frontline of procurement have the opportunity to meet with the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy and discuss key operational challenges. The “Frontline Forum” is just another form of “Myth-Busting.” It provides the acquisition workforce with the opportunity to share its views concerns with OFPP while leadership the opportunity to provide insight into key policy initiatives. It seems to me that the Frontline Forum is a dialogue about how things are going and where can the procurement process be improved.
It is not a myth—we are all better served when we focus real issues and potential solutions. I believe the “Myth-Busters” campaign will have a lasting, positive impact on the procurement system. After all, underlying the Myth-Busters campaign is the fundamental truth that we are all in this together.
Dan, thank you for your service and we wish you all the best in your new role.