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Aug 05, 2009


Observer Jr.

The office, regardless of occupant, has steadily declined in influence. It is sad so much hope and expectation for miracles have been heaped, in advance, on the next incumbent. You'd think the position was known consistently for heavy lifting. Rather it's a convenience for the acquisition community at large. OFPP originates little policy but gets assigned by others the grit of execution mechanics and monitoring. Rather than saying industry is looking sideways at the empty chair,can we attribute any responsibility for persistent anxieties about contracting--and prospect for improving it--to the like-thinking, inbred public/private partnership of folks, backed by Congress, multiple administrations and industry, who have collectively presided over glacially changing procurement policy for years? An empty OFPP chair isn't a key impediment to progress. Rather, there is a bunch of unresolved issues, such as the extent of needed competition, small-business preferences, government oversight and rule/law enforcement, and shared risk. The impetus and political leadership to resolve them reside outside of OFPP.

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