OMB calls for 'cultural change' in contracting community


Dan Gordon, administrator for the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said Friday he would consider disclosing more information about government and contractor interactions, but reiterated that the administration’s so-called “myth busting” campaign will not alter regulations or statutes.

 “We don’t believe we need statutory change or regulatory change, Gordon said in an interview with reporters. “What we really need is cultural change” in the federal contracting community.

It could be months before a cultural shift occurs, but Gordon expects increased awareness about proper communication with industry will result in fewer bid protests and more success stories, especially for high-risk and large information technology projects.

Gordon said the number of bid protests dropped the first quarter of this fiscal year and at least 99 percent of government’s procurements are never protested.

He called on agencies to make the right business decisions and “not be paralyzed by the fear of a protest.” For years, his concern has been that contracting staff work to make a process protest proof.

“In my opinion, that’s not a good use of our time” because “you will never make a procurement protest proof,” he said.

A 13-page memo, directed to senior procurement executives and chief information and acquisition officers, stressed the importance of early, frequent and constructive engagement with industry.

If agencies take on Gordon’s mentality, that should also mean more debriefings after a contract award.


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  1. Gordon’s right. Most are scared, risk-adverse, and don’t know real-world business; preferring the safety of process-following – too often at expense of requirements (even war-fighter readiness). “Deviation” is not tolerated. That’s why I left – too many arrows in the back.

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