By: Kimberly McCliggott, Praescient Contracts Manager
In today’s information environment, there is no excuse for misrepresenting contractual information or using outdated research. Company information, federal regulations, contractual guidelines – all this information is at your fingertips if you know where to look. Successful contracts managers today must be constantly vigilant and in touch with the always shifting nuances of federal contracting. They need not know the answer to every question, but they must be excellent open source researchers who can track down the information and personnel integral to executing contracts successfully. In that sense, Praescient sees contracts managers as having a similar skillset to our OSINT analysts. Both must parse enormous amounts of incoming information from a variety of sources to distill out the most important details. Too often we see organizations who haven’t done their due diligence circulate incorrect information or misrepresent themselves in some way. In the same way that reporters fact check their stories before going to press, contracts managers need to ensure their contractual responsibilities are always being met.
The Defense Innovation Unit Experiments (DIUx) is an example of a government contracting office that has embraced the fast-paced information environment of today. This new office, initiated in 2015, “continuously iterate[s] on how best to identify, contract, and prototype novel innovations through sources traditionally not available to the Department of Defense.” DIUx has realized that for many smaller, specialized companies, traditional contracting vehicles are no longer relevant. Through research, outreach, and contractual due diligence, DIUx is helping to provide important new ideas directly to the warfighter.
With a new incoming administration, it will be more important than ever to remain agile and up-to-date. So far, President Elect Trump has not been shy about his intentions to shake up the way things are done in Washington. At Praescient, one of our 2017 resolutions is to maintain superior contracts management through the new administration. Working together with the rest of the team, we will use all our tools, abilities, and knowledge to ensure we continue executing contracts with the most current, accurate, and complete data possible. As such, we don’t see contracts management in our industry as just trolling the standard contracts management sites to ensure compliance, but those contractors who will rise to the top will have the assistance of contracts departments who provide a proactive OSINT approach. They understand the trends in organizations, like DIUx, and administrations, like newly-elected Trump, to help posture their companies to achieve contractual success in our fluid times.