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PSC’s Soloway: 2010 Was ‘Year of Questions’ for GovCon Community

Stan Soloway

As 2010 comes to a close, many in the government-contracting community look back on a year full of changes with mixed emotions.

The year began with controversial federal proposals, such as insourcing and the Defense Department’s efficiency initiatives.

But, it ended more optimistically, with DoD cuts to service contractors reportedly less painful than expected, and federal reforms to IT acquisition getting the private sector’s cautious stamp of approval.

In an interview with ExecutiveGov, Professional Services Council President and CEO Stan Soloway said 2010 was “a year of questions.”

Some of those questions have yet to be answered, and 2011 will be the proving ground for many of them.

Amid the changes, the Professional Services Council, an industry trade group for government-contracting firms, elected new members to its board earlier this month. The board members will help formulate PSC’s policy decisions, including the big issues the GovCon community will face in 2011, Soloway said.

“We’re very fortunate to have a board that is made up of, truly, the leaders of the industry across the federal space,” he added. “They provide a lot of leadership to us and a lot of insight into what’s going on in the market.”

Highlights of the New Board:

§  Vangent President and CEO Mac Curtis was re-elected chairman of the association, and Paul Cofoni, president of U.S. operations and CEO of CACI, was re-elected vice chairman.

§  Current board members Robin Lineberger (Deloitte), Stacy Mendler (Alion) and George Schindler (CGI Federal), among others, were re-elected to three-year terms.

§  John Hillen (GTEC), Jim Sheaffer (CSC) and Ed Casey (Serco Group), among several others, were elected to the Executive Committee.

As organizations such as the PSC look to the future, the end of the year also provides an  opportunity to reflect on the past year.

“I think 2010 has been a year of questions,” Soloway said. “And a year of competing goals throughout the process: whether it’s insourcing and efficiency, workforce development, new compliance challenges, and so forth.”

The biggest issue the government and the GovCon community face is summed up in one little word, echoing throughout the halls of government: austerity.

“We know we’re going to see austerity,” he explained. “The only question is, what does it really look like and how can we make it work in the best possible way.”

For PSC, that means creating a collaborative process for government and its private-sector partners to develop real cost-saving measures.

As for leaders in the federal government, Soloway recited a litany of well-known administration names: from acquisition experts, such as federal procurement czar Dan Gordon and DoD’s acquisition chief Ashton Carter to the government’s top tech gurus, such as federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra and DoD CIO Teri Takai.

“Each agency is going to have a variety of leaders, who have very critical roles to play in . . . what our public-private business policies are going to be,” Soloway said. “And, those efforts are inseparable from a broader effort: to achieve efficiencies and savings.”

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