POGO has always stayed on the cutting edge of federal contracting. We have kept up with new legislation, attended procurement conferences and hearings (I might have had better attendance than some of the 1423 Panel members), and made presentations to contracting policy makers. Unfortunately, Don W. Dickson, President of Market*Access International, doesn’t believe in continued education for all or an exchange of ideas.
Mr. Dickson denied my registration to Government*Horizons’ “Federal Contracting Look Ahead Conference -- Contracting Priorities for FY08 and Beyond,” taking place on today in northern Virginia. “Government*Horizons Inc. mission is to provide [the] best in class training and related services to public citizens, citizen groups, corporate and government professionals involved in the emerging fields of management best practices and homeland security.” Or maybe it should say, training for anyone who drinks the Kool-Aid and believes in a pro-contractor procurement agenda.
Despite numerous emails between me and a Market*Access employee, including discussions about the fee category POGO fit into and a registration confirmation, Mr. Dickson denied my registration to the conference. Mr. Dickson stated: “We are unable to accommodate your request to attend our conference. Thank you for your interest.” To my surprise, the registration information sheet stated: “Government*Horizons reserves the right to deny attendance to any person.”
Mr. Dickson has not responded to numerous inquiries about the reason for denying my attendance. I wonder who else was denied access. Looking at the list of early registrants, it appears that the more contractors the merrier.
I recommend that federal agencies and Congress reconsider their policies for allowing their employees to speak at such conferences – especially conferences that charge fees and allow their organizers to pick and choose who can attend. Government participation should only occur when all interested persons (especially those persons who are willing to pay) are permitted to attend. “Members Only” access to government should be prohibited.
-- Scott Amey