DoD’s Better Buying Initiative. . . Prospects for Congressional oversight and procurement reform. . . The budget crisis. . . Government shutdown. . . . New policies and regulations. . . Significant government contracts and bid protest cases . . . The latest GSA’s outreach efforts for its programs. . . Updates of GSAAdvantage! and FAS’s other electronic systems. . .There is a lot going on in the world of government procurement. The Coalition Spring Conference on March 17th has a jam packed agenda, with great domain credibility speakers who will cover all these topic areas and perhaps more. During my years at GSA I looked forward to the Coalition’s Spring and Fall Conferences as I always learned something new and valuable about a key government contract policy, procedure or issue.

The Conference has something for everyone involved in the GSA MAS Program and other government wide contracting programs (legal, contract management, finance, compliance and marketing). GSA’s largest customer will be there with Shay Assad, Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy, updating the audience on DoD’s Better Buying Initiative. We have a strong Congressional Panel with professional staff from the House Armed Services, House Oversight and Government Reform, Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the Senate Armed Services committees. Stan Collender, our luncheon speaker, will slice and dice the budget with his presentation ‘The Budget in a Time of Madness’. Our Legal Panel includes distinguished partners from three leading government contract law firms, David Dowd from Mayer Brown LLP, Jason Workmaster from McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Jonathan Aronie from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP. Tamela Riggs, FAS Assistant Commissioner for Customer Accounts and Research will lay out her plans for customer outreach while Liz Delnegro, FAS CIO, will brief the audience on the latest updates to FAS’s e-systems including GSAAdvantage!.

Finally, the Conference will close with a St Patrick’s Day reception for attendees. It will be a great opportunity for networking and just catching up with colleagues. Depending on the budget negotiations the reception may include a briefing on the implications of a shutdown. We all may need a drink if a shutdown appears imminent.