Conduct Two-year Personnel Exchanges
Government employees who have never had to write a proposal or deliver products and services in the commercial world often think contractors are “out to take the Government for a ride.” Commercial employees who have never had to deal with the overwhelming weight of paperwork and bureaucracy often think Government employees are “drones.” My experience is both are wrong. Both groups want to do a good job within the constraints of their environment. Let’s exchange many employees so that both sides can have a better understanding of each other. This will make the acquisition process easier and the subsequent delivery of services less confrontational.
Jaime Gracia commented
Implementation may be difficult, but there is definitely a need for training on how government does business for industry, and especially how industry conducts business for government. DAU has some training for government personnel, but it is woefully inadequate.
Don Arnold commented
Two years may be excessive and inhibit career progression. Even a 3-month stint in an active proposal shop would be eye-opening for govt acquisition personnel who have never spent time in industry. And vice-versa. But it would be hard for Govt to bring in an industry "intern" for a few months without COI-ing the company...
Cindy Brockwell commented
I would also like to see a significant increase in this type of exchange. This can partly occur with enhanced dialog with industry on active procurements...many times, I've helped government folks and as a consultant it was acceptable...not so much as a "contractor". Industry has so much more exposure to "current events" than government people stuck in their offices all day. As a former Procurement Analyst and CS I can attest to just how little you really know "behind the curtain". Industry might also estabish a mentoring program if it would be acceptable to government decision makers and not preclude us from bidding on opportunities within that particular agency. The ACT IAC Partners program had an exercise last year that shed a lot of light on just how differently the government sees industry "capture efforts" and why they are needed. Not sure if related, but the OMB Mythbusters program appeared on the scene shortly after. Not only are the requirements and demands on vendors not really "known" but the business of doing business isn't always a strength of government contracting specialists and officers.