What Do Supermarket Cashiers, Gas-station Attendants and the Dodo Have in Common?

November 16, 2011

A thousand people -- about the same number as last year -- are gathering in a huge ballroom in Bethesda, Md., for the annual two-day National Contract Management Association conference, which is targeted to government participants.Even here, though, half the participants are from industry.

With the restrictions on travel that President Barack Obama recently imposed, we may be seeing more conferences in the DC area, though I have run into some government people from farther away.

The most interesting plenary event the first day was a panel of four senior government contracting folks, Nick Nayak (chief procurement officer of the Homeland Security department), Nancy Gunderson (senior procurement executive of the Health and Human Services department), and senior officials from the Defense Contract Management Agency and the Defense Contract Audit Agency.

Stan Soloway of the Professional Services Council, who did a great job as moderator, asked the panel to name the two most important trends they saw in contracting over the next two years. Not surprisingly, Nayak and Gunderson said the pressure for cost savings from contracting was the most important thing happening. 

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