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Richard Spires: Agencies Should Highlight Contractor Relationships in IT Programs

Richard Spires

Richard Spires, CEO of Resilient Network Systems, believes government agencies should develop good relationships with contractors to accomplish information technology programs.

Spires wrote in a column for FCW published Friday that a procurement team should collaborate with the program management office on the procurement aspect of that relationship in order to achieve program goals.

He adds that “paying a reasonable premium to a better qualified contractor that will lower overall program execution risk is always the right decision.”

“The price of failure on such programs is so much greater than any premium the government would pay to a contractor that, on balance, the government should be using “best value” criteria for contractor selections on its large, complex IT programs,” Spires wrote.

He recommends that the contracting officers report to the program managers and be evaluated based on program deliverables on top of procurement regulation compliance.

“The informal aspect of a contractor relationship, meanwhile, is the management of the contractor via the PMO,” he wrote.

Spires also says contractor employees must be “well integrated into the program and clearly understand their role and the roles of others, and whether there is open and candid communication among the parties.”

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