Contractors: Boost Needed For Civil Servants Overseeing Stimulus
The Professional Services Council, which represents a wide array of government contractors, is worried.
Though they embrace the need for massive spending to goose the economy, they're fretting about the ability of the federal workforce to properly manage what they call "this tsunami of funding."
They have issued a white paper with recommendations about measures the administration should consider taking top ensure success. They're well worth considering.
Among the recommendations:
--"Create 'tiger teams' in each federal agency composed of representatives from program management, financial, legal, acquisition, human resources, and audit functions, as well as industry experts, to conduct rapid reviews of existing capabilities and develop rapid response plans for implementing the stimulus."
--"With the needs identified, there should be an agency-by-agency assessment of how to fill existing and expected gaps between the personnel resources available and those required and what mix of civil servants and contractors will best fill those gaps in a timely and effective manner."
--"Assess the procedures and management controls the agency has in place to manage contractors and determine if they are sufficient."
"Developing a well-trained and experienced federal acquisition workforce with the tools, resources and support it needs and deserves is the single most important ingredient for success. It's essential to ensuring the wise and effective expenditure of taxpayer dollars and developing the kind of collaborative partnerships with the private sector that enable government to achieve its missions."
Tough to argue with that.
Some questions we have: How much would all that cost? How many more bodies would it mean. Is it politically feasible to grow the federal workforce? Would the recommendations delay the extraordinarily compressed timeline called for by the Obama administration for saving the economy?
Here's what Joe Davidson had to say in the Post:
"If Uncle Sam wants to avoid the fiasco he wrought when trying to get help to Hurricane Katrina victims, he'd better get his acquisition act together fast," he wrote.
"In order to get the money to the companies that will fix the roads, repair the bridges and make real those shovel-ready projects, Sam needs a good, solid core of federal employees to do advance work before the shovels break ground."
By Robert O'Harrow |
February 25, 2009; 12:48 PM ET
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