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Kimberly Palmer

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OMB highlights emergency contracting provisions

July 12, 2006 The Office of Management and Budget on Wednesday announced the addition of a new chapter on emergency contracting to the Federal Acquisition Regulation, the document that governs federal contracting. While the additional chapter doesn't add any rules or regulations, it does compile all existing emergency procurement regulations at the end ...

Downfall

July 1, 2006 How a promising procurement career ended in felony. On a winter evening in early 1997, Francis D. Jones Jr., a deputy director for the General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Services for Technology program, met Tony Fannin, a contractor, at the Channel Inn, a tucked-away hotel with a restaurant overlooking a ...

Threads of Dignity

July 1, 2006 Through years of fashion updates, civilian uniforms have been a source of pride and sometimes prejudice. A shirt, it seems, is not always just a shirt. When the Transportation Security Administration was looking for new uniforms for its 40,000 officers in 2003, it wanted to avoid dark colors, which research ...

Bidding Wars

June 15, 2006 Agencies navigate the controversial debate over eBay-style procurements without any official guidance. Like eBay visitors prowling for the perfect faux-Tiffany ring or used iPod, federal buyers are turning more to online auctions to satisfy their shopping needs. While prices go up in traditional auction fashion on eBay, agencies use reverse ...

Reeling In Business

June 1, 2006 Federal financial management centers compete with companies to lure government customers. Entries in the Forest Service's financial management system can be so inaccurate that in 2002, the agency had to adjust its record for the value of its real property assets by $1 billion. At the time, financial management at ...

Waiting for Clearance

June 1, 2006 Background checks for more contract workers could tip the backlog. Like Lucy furiously trying to keep up with the speeding conveyer belt in the chocolate factory, the Office of Personnel Management is struggling to keep up with security clearance investigations. And it's about to be flooded with at least 200,000 ...

Trial of former procurement chief begins

May 24, 2006 The trial of David Safavian, former head of procurement policy at the Office of Management and Budget, began Monday with Justice Department lawyers arguing he lied and misled government officials regarding the nature of his relationship with disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and the defense responding that there were no ...

Congressman’s office searched in contractor bribery probe

May 22, 2006 On Saturday at 6:15 p.m., FBI agents searched the offices of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., in the Rayburn House Office Building in connection with an investigation of an alleged bribery scheme involving a government contractor. According to an affidavit, the FBI had "probable cause" to believe it would find evidence ...

Venture Capital

May 15, 2006 Agencies start their own investment funds to bring new technologies to government. Venture capitalists make high-risk investments in startup companies developing cutting edge technologies. Now the government wants to be part of that action. At the urging of Congress, NASA has become the latest agency to set aside money for ...

Smithsonian battles back against critics of contract

May 11, 2006 The Smithsonian Institution continues to defend itself against lawmakers and filmmakers who have criticized a contract the organization signed limiting access to its resources for independent projects. The contract announced in March with Showtime Networks Inc. creates Smithsonian Networks, which will produce programs for cable television and other outlets starting ...