Kimberly Palmer

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Ups and Downs

September 15, 2006 VA Secretary R. James Nicholson bends priorities to new customer needs and business risks. R. James Nicholson, secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department, is intimately familiar with the highs and lows of leadership. After a computer with the personal information of 26.5 million veterans was stolen from an employee's home...

Defining Disability

September 15, 2006 Some veterans question giving the edge to service-disabled contractor bids. For most people, the word "disabled" conjures up images of wheelchairs, guide dogs or paralysis. For some government contractors, it means money-at least in theory. Ever since the 1999 Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act was passed, agencies have...

Judge denies new trial for ex-procurement chief

September 12, 2006 The judge overseeing the trial of David Safavian, former head of the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Federal Procurement Policy and former chief of staff of the General Services Administration, denied motions for a new trial Tuesday. Safavian was convicted of obstruction of justice and other charges in...

Nonprofit group tests new contracting tools

August 23, 2006 The Private Sector Council, part of the Washington-based nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, has launched a pilot program to improve contract management at the Homeland Security Department and U.S. Agency for International Development. With the help of 26 officials from big-name companies such as Lockheed Martin Corp. and Pfizer Inc....

Ex-procurement chief argues for new trial

August 17, 2006 An attorney for David Safavian, the former chief of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy who was convicted of obstruction of justice and other charges in June, filed a motion for a new trial last month. Government lawyers have responded with a 27-page document opposing the motion. A judge will...

No Surprises

August 15, 2006 Civilian agencies fumbled emergency procurements last year; now they're looking ahead so they'll be prepared. Problems with emergency contracting battered civilian procurement offices shortly after Hurricane Katrina swept through Louisiana. Mounting procurement demands underscored the need for more training in how to apply simplified emergency acquisition rules. Next time, agencies...

Best Bets

August 15, 2006 Top contracting shops share their secrets. Around Valentine's Day each year, Helen Hurcombe sends a note to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration program offices. As the director of acquisitions and grants, she asks them to submit their contracting plans for the coming year. Once she gets the wish lists, she...

Returns on Risk

August 1, 2006 Funds related to defense and homeland security pick up steam. Companies that sell defense and homeland security-related products and services get a boost when war and terrorists strike. Now, investors can, too. Ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, the defense sector has outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which...

Veteran-owned businesses squabble over definitions

July 19, 2006 The Government Accountability Office said Monday that the Army was not required to cancel a contract awarded under a set-aside for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses after the Small Business Administration ruled that the winner was not such a business. The contract, won in March by the Vienna, Va.-based Wexford Group International...

Contracting Czar

July 15, 2006 Mark Lumer says sometimes you have to be a dictator. When Mark J. Lumer was 23, he took a civil service test and was offered two jobs, one in procurement and the other in materiel management. He told the interviewer, "I'm sorry, I don't know what either of those are."...

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