The U.S. government is known for its complex and long-winded contracting mechanisms; now a powerful group of businesses has set out to recommend improvements that may also affect the aid community.
The Professional Services Council launched a commission that intends to look closely at the systemic barriers to, as well as tools to enhance, efficiency and innovation in the government’s acquisition and use of technology and other complex requirements. PSC says it is doing so because the U.S. government has failed to act, its acquisition and technology staff faces a “growing democraphic crisis,” and a climate of austerity increases the need for smart investments. The decision was also influenced by PSC’s 2012 Acquisition Policy Survey, which outlined a variety of challenges to swift and effective government procurement.
“Now is the time for a serious look at the strategies and tools we could use to help the government deliver the highest quality services in a resource-constrained environment,” said Ellen Glover, executive vice president of ICF International, who with Robin Lineberger of Deloitte co-chairs the commission.
PSC’s international development task force works closely with the U.S. Agency for International Development and other government agencies on a variety of policy issues. At times, it has been a vocal critic of procurement delays and, more recently, of plans by the Obama administration to increase local procurement in partner countries.
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