2021 Federal Acquisition Conference Recap

Industry leaders discussed where the market is headed.




Conference Recap

More than 150 attendees participated in PSC’s entirely virtual 2021 Federal Acquisition Conferenceexploring trends shaping acquisition policies and the ongoing government services industry with special regard givento how the government and industry work together to drive mission success.  Check out the featured sessions, speakers and topics covered below!


The
 virtual conference opened with remarks from 
PSC Executive Vice President for Policy Stephanie Sanok Kostrowho gave a budget briefing and highlightedwhat industry is seeing across federal agencies regarding how government is acquiring contract services. She provided insights into how recent executive orders and large contract vehicles (e.g., CIO-SP4,Services MAC)are evolving the federal marketplace.


Attendees then heard keynote remarks from Jason Miller, Deputy Director for Management, Office of Management and Budget.Miller outlined the Biden-Harris Administration’s approach to leveraging acquisition as a catalyst to advance the President’s Build Back Better policy priorities. Focus areas include the return-to-workplace and post-re-entry plans for federal employees and contractors, implementing updated cybersecurity requirements, climate change actions, "Made in America goals, and advancing social justice and equity for underserved communities.


Apanel of U.S. Government acquisition professionals convened to discussGovernment-Wide Contract Vehicles and Driving the Next Cycle of Acquisition Success. The panel included:

  • NASA’s Joanne Woytek, Program Manager of the Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement contract;
  • The General Services Administration’s Tiffany Hixson, Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Professional Services and Human Capital Categories, Federal Acquisition Service; and
  • The Department of Health and Human Services’ Katrina Brisbon, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary in HHS’ Office of Acquisition.

 The panelists discussed the intent behind upcoming Government-Wide Contract Vehicles, including what is driving their use, expectations for rollout, and how industry might best approach opportunities for upcoming vehicles. 


A second panel convened to include DHS Chief Procurement Officer Soraya Correaand DHSChief Information Officer Eric Hysen, who highlighted how acquisition is a “team sport” within an agency. Such cooperation and collaboration among senior allow agencies to address critical requirements, such as those within the information mission area, through procurement innovation and emphasis on honest, open, early and frequent communication between industry and government. The panelists also discussed DHS’s intent to become an active user of Technology Modernization Funds, as well as the Department’s blueprint for adoption of cybersecurity measures put forward by the Biden-Harris Administration’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity. 


Jesse Salazar, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy, was featured in a discussion on Small Business Cyber Hygiene through a new initiative called Project Spectrum. Salazar discussed DoD’s goal to manage costs of cybersecurity for small businesses, which can support these companies’ efforts relative to the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program. Salazar was joined by Melinda Woods, Enterprise Technologies and Cyber Director at Eccalon, who provided an update on Project Spectrum as well as a live demo of the publicly available website.

 

Stephanie Kostro, PSC’s Executive Vice President for Policy, provided a brief wrap-up and summary of the conference, which then split into three break-out sessions where attendees could network in small groups and meet with at least one featured government leader: 

 

  • The Acquisition and Artificial Intelligence Breakout discussed how the fast-paced and ever-changing landscape of Artificial Intelligence can challenge acquisition processes and how industry can be more responsive to U.S. Government needs. This break-out session included David Kumashiro, Director of Research and Analysis and Kevin McGinnis, Director of Research and Analysis at the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.
  • The Cyber Supply Chain Breakout included Matthew Travis, CEO of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Accreditation Body, who discussed his organization’s work and engagement with industry, and how the U.S. Government and contractor community officials can work together in this increasingly critical area of national security.
  • The Acquisition Mavericks Leveraging Alternatives to the Far Breakout discussedhow U.S. Government customers and industry can successfully use acquisition practice alternatives to the FAR, as evidenced through efforts of the Federal Aviation Administration, and included Marvin Poindexter, Director of Acquisition Policy and Oversight, AAP-1 at the Federal Aviation Administration
 PSC thanks its sponsors, members and participants for helping to successfully deliver this virtual event.  If you are a PSC member and want to find out more about how to get engaged on these acquisition topics, please visit the Acquisition and Business Policy Council webpage or contact policy@pscouncil.org. Tlearn more about PSC membership please visit the Join PSC webpage or contact membership@pscouncil.org.

 

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Media Coverage

Biden Administration Official Calls for Increased Federal Contracting, Details Return-To-Work Posture
Washington Business Journal – June 22, 2021

“President Biden wants the federal government to procure a lot more,” Miller said as part of his remarks at the Professional Services Council’s Federal Acquisition Conference. “The president has directed his team to ensure that our government’s buying power should help to shape outcomes and strengthen the country and deliver results for all Americans. We refer to this as leveraging federal procurement as a catalyst to address our most pressing priorities.”

Pentagon CMMC Review Aims to Address Small Biz Cost Concerns, ‘Restore Trust’ in Assessment Processes

Federal News Network – June 24, 2021

DHS Applied for TMF Funding for Four Projects, CIO Hysen Says
FedScoop – June 23, 2021

DOD’s Salazar: Changes to Pentagon Cyber Certification Will Help Small Businesses, Clarify Policy
Inside Cybersecurity – June 23, 2021

Federal Acquisition Digital Replay Archive

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Photos

2019 Federal Acquisition Conference

Past Media Coverage: 

Pentagon to Unveil New Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) for Defense Contractors
JDsupra.com – 6/10/19

The New Way Security Factors into Acquisitions
Fifthdomain.com -6/13/19

As GSA Consolidates Buying Schedules, Special Item Numbers are Due for Cuts
FCW.com – 6/13/19

Stephanie Shutt: GSA Eyes Consolidation of Special Item Numbers
Executivegov.com – 6/14/19

The 2020 NDAA Takes up a Common Cause: Acquisition Reform
Fedscoop.com – 6/13/19
DoD Briefing Slides on 'Securing the Supply Chain'
InsideDefense.com – 6/13/19 (subscription)

DoD to Streamline Cyber Acquisition With New Certification Model
Meritalk.com – 6/13/19

DOD Says 'Security is an allowable cost' in Shift Toward New Cyber Certification
Insidedefense.com – 6/13/19

Pentagon says 'security is an allowable cost' in shift to cyber certification
InsideCybersecurity.com – 6/14/19 (subscription)

DoD Unveils Plans for Contractor Cybersecurity Standards
Fedscoop.com – 6/14/19

DoD Official Says Cyber Is An Allowable Contractor Cost
Law360.com - 6/14/19

Why DoD’s decision to make cybersecurity an ‘allowable cost’ matters
FederalNewsNetwork.com – 6/17/19