Despite regulations and memos stating otherwise, many federal procurement officials are still under the impression that any communication with vendors is at best unethical, and at worst, illegal. In Federal News Radio, Censeo managing director Curtis Cote gives his take on why these communication barriers exist, and how these challenges affect day-to-day operations.
“[The 2011 OFPP Mythbusters Amendment] provided a great framework and injected energy into the acquisition community when it was first released. However, it didn’t really make its way into the day-to-day work of acquisition professionals. One reason is the sheer amount of work contracting officers and contracting officer representatives already have on their plate. Engaging with industry takes time, especially if it’s going to be done well…Another reason is that Mythbusters was informational, not operational. That is, it provided great tips but not specific guidance, tools and incentives for COs and CORs to put the ideas into practice.”
Cote also outlined his recommendations for a proposed supplier management program, including, “having ongoing discussions with vendors to help understand market dynamics,” “having iterative discussions with vendors before a requirement is defined,” and “keeping an open line of communication with the winning vendor to ensure the contract’s objectives are met.”
Read here for Federal News Radio’s full analysis of obstacles to vendor engagement in the federal sector, and learn more about Censeo’s work strengthening communication between the acquisition and vendor communities.