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White House Myth Busting Campaign

White HouseThe White House Office of Federal Procurement Policy, part of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) introduced a myth-busting campaign in early 2011 to inspire better communication between contractors and government procurement officers. The campaign was to be rolled out in two phases, the first in 2011, and the second in 2012. It now appears, as noted in the Washington Business Journal, that the Obama administration is considering a third phase of its myth-busting campaign.

The campaign was introduced due to prevailing miscommunication between contractors and government procurement officers, leading to misinformation being distributed around the contracting realm. With every agency having its own site for facts, and with each site proving to be a labyrinth for the information seeker to have to navigate through, the myth busting campaign was to provide one easy source for facts regarding government procurement.

The campaign is composed of memos that answer the most common contractor questions, as well as debunk the most prevalent current myths. However well-intentioned the myth busting campaign is though, many contractors say they have not seen a significant constructive change in communication. Contractors point to a lack of transparency on the government’s side in rendering contract decisions. If contractors were provided with a more comprehensive explanation for a procurement officers’ decision, they would be prepared to provide proposals better suited to the needs of the procurement officer. In addition, contractors could tailor their proposals to not only answer the immediate solicitation but provide a more comprehensive proposal demonstrating the long range values, savings, and ROI.

Perhaps the insufficiency of the first phase is what has prompted the administration to propose a third phase. While the second phase will be rolled out this summer and will focus on advising contractors on how they can improve the lines of communications throughout the course of competitions, the third phase will focus on a similar message but for the acquisition professional in the government. For more information, read the complete memos.

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