As local governments shrink, private consultants reap rewards

October 25, 2012 by

“I would probably bring in McKinsey,” Mitt Romney once told the Wall Street Journaleditorial board, explaining how he might, should he win in November, hire management consultants to help shape a presidential cabinet.

Romney, a devotee of corporate culture who began his career at the Boston Consulting Group, promises to transfer that technocratic ethos and private-sector reverence to the Oval Office. Indeed, management consulting firms are already marketing themselves to state and municipal governments as professionals with the necessary business savvy to help manage a downsizing austerity state.

“When crisis strikes consultants are called. Consultants thrive on chaos,” says Tom Rodenhauser, managing director at Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory, which tracks the industry. “When a municipality is facing huge budget issues, and they can’t solve the problem themselves, they’ll call in consultants and make the tough choices that either politically or practically elected officials can’t make.”

Consultants, like Romney, have the appeal of “real-world” experience which, in early 21st-century America, means experience in the hard-nosed competitive marketplace outside of the public sector’s one-time easy comfort. Since August 2008, the number of public employees has already been cut by 662,000 nationwide. Consultants draw on experience from a private sector that has relentlessly slashed employment, broken unions and outsourced work for decades.

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More oversight needed to ensure intended contracts go to disadvantaged firms

October 16, 2012 by

The government has been aggressive in pressing recipients of federal funds to step up their oversight of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) programs. DBEs, broadly speaking, are small businesses that are majority-owned by women, minorities or certain military veterans. Many federal contracts require participation by DBEs.

Federal regulations also oblige grant recipients to monitor contractors’ compliance with DBE requirements, including that a DBE to whom work is contractually committed is performing a “commercially useful function” — that is, doing the contracted work with its own personnel and resources.

But mounting examples of wrongdoing in DBE programs have called into question the effectiveness of recipients’ oversight.

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Robins AFB holds annual requirements symposium in Perry on Nov 7-8, 2012

October 15, 2012 by

Warner Robins Air Force Base is holding its 10th annual symposium for contractors and other professionals involved in acquiring products and services to fulfill Air Force needs.

The 10th annual Requirements Symposium will be held November 7 and 8, 2012 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, GA.

The Requirements Symposium is a unique 2-day event where senior leaders and managers at Robins Air Force Base share their current and future requirements and organizational vision of the future. This insight into requirements at Robins AFB and the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex allows aerospace industries and businesses to appropriately plan for capabilities to meet the needs at Robins AFB and the Warfighters they service, today and tomorrow.

Click here to see the preliminary agenda:

Click here for registration information:

Visit the Requirements Symposium web site for updates:






Ten-day class on federal contracting, beginning Oct. 22nd, appeals to both business and government sectors

October 15, 2012 by

“Mission Focused Contracting” — a two-week course that is perhaps the most comprehensive of any of the courses offered by The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech — begins on Oct. 22, 2012.    It’s designed to have value for both business people as well as government contracting officials.

  • From a business perspective, this course is a boot camp that’s designed to provide insights and details about the government’s entire acquisition process.  Business people will leave this course better prepared to submit bids for government work, creating a positive impact on business growth and bottom line.
  • From a government standpoint, this Defense Acquisition University-equivalent course — that satisfies FAC-C and DAWIA certification requirements — educates contracting officers on the entire acquisition process, from initial meetings with internal customers to completing the contract closeout process — and everything in-between.

All participants have the opportunity to learn and apply problem-solving and negotiation skills in a highly-interactive class setting.

Known as CON 120 – Mission Focused Contracting, this course  includes a complete review of CON 110, 111 and 112, on-line courses that are normally prerequisites for CON 120.   Because a review of CON 110, 111 and 112 is built-in to Georgia Tech’s CON 120 offering, students are not required to complete any prerequisites.

As a part of this course, contracting officers will learn how to:

  • Complete a market research report
  • Develop a solicitation package
  • Evaluate proposals and award contracts
  • Monitor contractor performance, apply remedies, and make proper contract payments
  • Modify contracts, exercise options, and complete the contract closeout process

As a part of this course, companies will:

  • Discover business growth opportunities for your company in the government sector
  • Learn how to develop a bid proposal that will put you ahead of the competition
  • Gain insight on ways to get your small business subcontracting plan approved
  • Network with and learn alongside government contracting officials to gain a better understanding of the process, roles, and responsibilities of government contracting
  • Understand how your company fits in as an important member of the acquisition team

This 10-day course is priced at $2,000 and is next offered Oct.22 through Nov. 2, 2012 in world-class facilities on the Georgia Tech campus in midtown Atlanta. For more information or to register, please visit

For more information on the Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech, click here.

Quiz on state contracting, including colleges and universities, now available

October 15, 2012 by

The University System of Georgia held its annual vendor expo, this year on the campus of the University of Georgia, on Oct. 15, 2012, and the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center developed a special quiz for attendees at the event.

The quiz features details on procurement rules and procedures followed by University System of Georgia schools and state agencies, including changes in purchasing rules that became effective on July 1, 2012.

Details on Georgia Tech’s participation and a copy of the quiz can be seen at

GSA to hold conference in Atlanta for veteran-owned businesses on Nov. 8th

October 14, 2012 by

The Atlanta Regional Office of the General Services Administration (GSA) is hosting a forum for veteran-owned small businesses on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  This event will be held in the Main Level Conference Center located at the Martin L. King, Jr. Federal Building, 77 Forsyth Street, Atlanta, Georgia  30303.

Veteran-owned businesses who are existing GSA Schedule contractors are especially encouraged to attend, but the event is open to all vendors interested in doing business with GSA and/or through the GSA Schedule process.

For more information and to register, please click here: GSA Veteran-Owned Small Business Conference – Nov 08 2012.

Reservation Economic Summit scheduled November 14 and 15 in Tulsa

October 13, 2012 by

The National Center for American Indian Economic Development (NCAIED) has announced that the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation Businesses, L.L.C., will be presenting title sponsors of RES Oklahoma 2012, the NCAIED’s new two-day multifaceted Reservation Economic Summit (RES) event to be held from November 14th-15th at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, OK.

“We are pleased to host NCAIED’s first-ever RES Oklahoma conference at Hard Rock this year,” Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Bill John Baker said. “NCAIED’s long-standing commitment to economic self-sufficiency in Indian Country is an admirable goal that the Cherokee Nation supports and shares.”

One of the largest Indian Tribes in the United States, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma is the federally-recognized government of the Cherokee people and has inherent sovereign status recognized by law and by treaty. The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma is located in northeastern Oklahoma. Cherokee Nation Businesses (CNB) L.L.C., is the economic engine of the Cherokee Nation. CNB owns companies in the hospitality, gaming, personnel services, distribution, manufacturing, telecommunications, and environmental services industries. Together, these businesses have revenues of nearly $500 million every year and earn nearly $10 million in profits.

“Through their support of RES Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has taken a leadership position in assisting the NCAIED in growing tribal economies, both in Oklahoma and throughout Indian Country,” said Gary Davis, NCAIED President and CEO. “RES Oklahoma will bring increased awareness to the many economic development opportunities that exist in Oklahoma and, as importantly, it will explore the many ways Oklahoma’s tribal economy can further grow nationwide via private sector opportunities and enhancing tribe to tribe business ventures.”

RES Oklahoma will feature respected tribal leaders, state, and local elected officials and top CEO’s, networking, teaming opportunities, business development sessions, American Indian Procurement Fair, and much more. RES Oklahoma marks the expansion of the NCAIED’s highly successfulReservation Economic Summit (RES) into additional regionally focused events throughout the nation. In 2012, the NCAIED’s national event, “RES Vegas,” raised the most revenue and enjoyed the largest attendance in the history of RES – solidifying RES as the premier American Indian business conference and trade fair in the Nation. Additional regional RES events will soon be announced.

For more information, please visit:
For media inquiries, please email: mailto:gro.deiacnnull@yelrihs.llenal?subject=Scope%20%26%20Vision%20PR

For more information regarding sponsorship opportunities, please email: mailto:gro.deiacnnull@rosnops?subject=Sponsorship%20opportunities%20for%20RES%20Oklahoma%202012

‘Business Breakthrough’ resources now available

October 10, 2012 by

The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) played host last week to a three-day workshop sponsored by the General Services Administration (GSA).  Titled “Business Breakthrough,” the Sept. 27-29, 2011 workshop was designed to assist businesses in the region navigate contracting opportunities and methods with GSA.

GSA oversees the business of the U.S. federal government. GSA’s acquisition solutions supplies federal purchasers with products and services from commercial vendors. GSA also manages all non-military buildings, and oversees the preservation of historic federal properties. Its policies cover travel, property and management practices.

GSA leadership from Washington, DC were on hand at the event as were representatives of GSA’s Region IV office.

A number of resources were made available to GTPAC as a result of hosting the workshop, and we’re happy to share them with you.  Links are provided below to  all workshop materials:

Resource documents you’ll be interested in accesing are:




Details announced for University System of Georgia’s Oct. 15th procurement expo

October 3, 2012 by

The University System of Georgia has announced details for this year’s procurement expo.

The expo will be held on the campus of the University of Georgia on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm in the Tate Student Center, located at 45 Baxter Street, Athens, GA 30602.

The major purpose of this annual expo is to inform and encourage prospective vendors to do business with the colleges and universities that make up the University System of Georgia.

The program and registration information can be found by clicking here: USG Procurement Expo Brochure 10.15.2012

On-line registration is at:

OMB to contractors: Follow Labor guidance on pre-sequester layoff notices

October 2, 2012 by

The Office of Management and Budget Friday reinforced a Labor Department ruling that federal contractors need not issue notices of impending layoffs to employees related to the looming budget sequester. OMB said agencies would cover contractors’ “liability and litigation costs” related to such notices if they follow Labor’s guidelines.

In a memo to senior finance and procurement officials at agencies, Danny Werfel, OMB’s controller, and Joseph Jordan, head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, expanded on guidance provided by Labor in July about layoff notices.

In that guidance, Labor officials said contractors should not send warnings of impending layoff notices to their employees in advance of a potential budget sequester in January. Such notices, they said, are not required under the 1988 Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act, and in fact are “inconsistent” with the law, according to a policy letter to state workforce agencies issued by Labor officials.

Contractors have expressed concern that the WARN Act, which requires companies to provide 60-day notice to employees of impending mass layoffs, might apply to a budget sequester that could slash federal agencies’ budgets. Labor’s Employment and Training Administration said it does not, largely because it is not clear yet — and may not be clear until the last minute — whether a sequester actually will go into effect.

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