2022 Federal Acquisition Conference Recap


Conference Recap

On Tuesday, June 21, 2022, over 130 attendees joined PSC in-person and virtually for the 2022 Federal Acquisition Conference at the Westin Arlington Gateway. With this year’s theme of “Talent, Time & Risk Management: Collaborating in a Competitive Federal Marketplace,” both government and industry panelists addressed real, practical ways in which government and industry partners can more effectively and creatively support federal missions and help agencies access much-needed capabilities and innovative solutions. If you could not attend the conference, but wish to register to access a live recording, please click here.

4th Annual PSC Business Forecast Scorecard
Following opening remarks from David Berteau, PSC President and CEO, and Ann-Marie Johnson, Vice President for Federal Market Engagement, CGI Federal and PSC’s 2022 Federal Acquisition Conference Planning Committee Chair, the conference opened with a presentation by Stephanie Kostro, PSC Executive Vice President for Policy, on the 4th Annual PSC Business Forecast Scorecard. PSC’s annual Business Forecast Scorecard examines publicly available forecasts from around 62 federal agencies and sub-components, with the goal of helping federal entities improve the timeliness and relevance of information available to companies working in federal procurement. Of note, Ms. Kostro remarked that there have been general improvements across the federal government since the release of PSC’s last scorecard in July 2021. Click here to access PSC’s 4th Annual Business Forecast Scorecard.

OMB Keynote Address
Following Ms. Kostro’s presentation of the 4th Annual PSC Business Forecast Scorecard, the conference opened with a keynote address from Lesley Field, Deputy Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, OMB. During her remarks, Ms. Field gave an overview of OMB’s use of acquisition in supporting agency mission needs and equity goals. On this last point, Ms. Field stated that OMB is making a concerted effort in supporting new entities wanting to access the federal business marketplace. Ms. Field ended remarks declaring that the federal workforce is a priority for OMB, particularly in recruitment, supplemental training and credentialing, and retention.

Panel: Managing Cyber Risk in IT Procurements
Following a robust discussion between Ms. Field and David Berteau, Jeff Shen, President, Red Team Consulting, moderated the first panel entitled “Managing Cyber Risk in IT Procurements” that focused on how federal officials employ cyber and IT procurement risk management and what, if any, solutions industry can offer. The panel included Mara Winn, Associate Director for Planning and Coordination, CISA’s National Risk Management Center; Craig Kaucher, Assistant PEO for Cyber and Operations, PEO, DCSA; Jennifer A. Swanson, Chief Engineer, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics & Technology; and Ricky Clark, Deputy Director, National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center, HHS. The panel discussed incorporating supply chain risk management early on in the acquisition planning process to mitigate supply chain risks and how industry needs to incorporate this thinking into their business models. This panel also discussed free, open tools, threat assessments, and guidance from federal entities that industry can use to deter cyber-attacks and infiltrations, with one panelist noting that smaller companies are a much bigger target. 

Panel: Countering the Great Resignation: Recruitment and Retention in a Tight Talent Marketplace
After a quick networking break, Soraya Correa, President & CEO, Soraya Correa & Associates LLC, moderated the second panel entitled “Countering the Great Resignation: Recruitment and Retention in a Tight Talent Marketplace” that addressed how federal agencies can compete for a robust, skilled workforce against commercial sector wage competition in an inflating marketplace. This panel included Peter Bonner, Associate Director, Human Resources Solutions, OPM and Chris Bennethum, Assistant Commissioner, GSA, Office of Assisted Acquisition Services, Federal Acquisition Service. Panelists talked to how federal employees are reshuffling between agencies due to flexibilities in remote work policies and that federal employees are motivated differently than private sector employees, e.g.,
  1. The degree of communication they have with their superiors,
  2. Values, and
  3. Workplace culture.
This panel also noted a paradigm shift in the federal workforce due to the pandemic: people are making choices that are reflecting priorities in their personal lives. This panel also discussed tools needed to retain the federal contracting workforce: 
  1. Creating new, innovative ways to support acquisition that makes the workforce engaged,
  2. Removing barriers so acquisition personnel can move from government to industry and back to government, and
  3. Flexibility in the workplace. 

Panel: Increasing Speed of Award: Challenges and Opportunities
Tim Cooke, President & CEO, ASI Government, LLC, moderated the next panel entitled “Increasing Speed of Award: Challenges and Opportunities” that addressed steps that the federal government is adopting or should utilize to shorten acquisition timelines through and outside of FAR-based acquisition. This panel included Karla Smith Jackson, Senior Procurement Executive, Deputy Chief Acquisition Officer, and Assistant Administrator for Procurement, NASA; John M. Tenaglia, Principal Director, Defense Pricing and Contracting, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment; and Rita McNair, Division Manager, AAQ-200, FAA. Each panelist discussed different steps/processes their respective agencies are using to streamline the acquisition process in terms of speed:
  1. Engaging with industry for input on RFIs and market research,
  2. Reducing page count, looking at past performance as a responsibility factor, and returning to oral proposals,
  3. Using down-select and tech demonstrations; and
  4. Using adaptive and agile acquisition pathways, such as OTA authorities.
While this panel focused on steps needed to speed up the acquisition process, panelists also focused on the workforce with regards to
  1. Continued credentialing,
  2. Specialization and making sure the acquisition workforce has a basic understanding of all aspects of acquisition contracting, and
  3. Cultural transformation and change management of an agency’s culture.

Stronger Together: An Armchair Discussion on Government-Industry Collaboration to Support Federal Missions
After a short networking break, Alexa Raimondi, Lead Partner, DHS, Deloitte, moderated the last panel of the conference entitled “Stronger Together: An Armchair Discussion on Government-Industry Collaboration to Support Federal Missions” that highlighted pragmatic ways to leverage industry experience, knowledge, and innovative acquisition solutions and coordination of missions intersecting both defense and homeland security spaces. This panel included Maj. Gen. Cameron Holt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Contracting and Nina Ferraro, Deputy Chief Procurement Officer, Department of Homeland Security. This panel focused on bringing in diverse companies into the federal marketplace and the need to remove barriers and processes in federal acquisition that do not make sense. Both panelists talked of “cutting the middle man out” when trying to field innovative solutions and the need to separate “compliance-focused” from “mission-focused” thinking to effectively manage mission-driven procurement.

Wrap-up and Closing Remarks
Stephanie Kostro, PSC Executive Vice President for Policy, then offered brief remarks and closed out the conference, followed by a networking reception. 

PSC thanks its 2022 Federal Acquisition Conference premier sponsors ACT 1, Amentum, and Deltek. Our keynote sponsors were Parsons and Deloitte. Our panel sponsors were CGI and Valiant. Our thought leadership sponsor was DTS. Our bottled water sponsor was Valiant. Our reception sponsor was CSS. Our name badge sponsor was USFCR and our exhibitor sponsor was NITAAC. Thanks to PSC members and participants for helping to successfully deliver this hybrid event. To find out more, or to become a PSC member, please visit the Professional Services Council website at https://www.pscouncil.org


View Full Conference Recording

Unable to attend the Federal Acquisition Conference? The recording is available for purchase. Click here to access.

Media Coverage 

Defense Agencies Among Worst Ranked for Disclosing Contracting Needs to Businesses Federaltimes.com | 6/22/22 A Tale of Two Agencies Trying to Implement a New Electronic Health Record Federalnewsnetwork.com | 6/22/22 
Acquisition Shops Inside Government Need Workers Too Washingtontechnology.com | 6/24/22
Hybrid Work May be Permanent Fixture for Government Employees, Cisco Finds Federaltimes.com | 7/13/22

Federal Acquisition Digital Replay Archive


2022 Federal Acquisition Conference

Past Media Coverage: 

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

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