Department Spotlight: Department of Homeland Security

The mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may seem straightforward - protect the homeland - but in practice a lot goes into fulfilling that promise. DHS is an incredibly complex organization with a set of agencies that, while focused on the singular mission of keeping America safe, do so in incredibly diverse ways. The Department has laid out six core missions that all support the effort to secure the nation.

Recent efforts of DHS highlight their commitment to these goals. Continue reading

Citizen Service for the Most Vulnerable

Citizen experience is a key priority across government. Agencies are taking a new look at citizens as customers and simplifying how they deliver services. At no time is that simplification more important than at times of crisis. The government provides critical support to citizens impacted by natural disasters, public health emergencies, terrorism, and economic insecurity. There are some incredible examples of how government is applying technology to meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

Supporting Homeless Populations

Austin, TX is using the Homeless Emergency Management (HEM) Tracking and Prioritization Tool as part of its larger efforts to understand and support the city's homeless population. Field staff use the tool to capture information about homeless encampments that includes factors related to health, safety, and impacts on infrastructure, property, and environmental health. This data is collated into a score that helps prioritize areas for intervention.

Before this tool, departments across the city were collecting different information and had no uniform way to evaluate it. The HEM Tool applies a citywide lens to encampment response, enabling prioritization and resource deployment to those that present the biggest risks, supports consistent encampment data capture, and improves citywide understanding of needs, risk and trends. Continue reading

Six Great Reasons to Attend GCMS 2022

From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here's something we wanted to share that was originally posted on Bidscale.

The Government Contract Management Symposium (GCMS) is a key conference in the world of Government contracting. This annual event is run by the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), an association dedicated to contract management professionals. In addition to the 41.1 CPE/CLP credits you can earn this year (29.1 for virtual attendees), there are six other reasons Bidscale leadership knew there needed to be an in-person presence for this Bethesda event.

1. Take Part in Immersive Training Simulations

GCMS features a fair amount of interactive learning opportunities. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is not getting any smaller; fresh protests are filed daily. New laws and regulations are constantly changing the rules. Are you looking for a way to test-drive brand-new ideas in a safe environment or maybe you are trying to decide how to handle difficult personalities? GCMS 2022 provides hands-on experience during the TUES 6 DEC immersive workshop, 'Camouflage Conflict: Exercise in Strategic Problem Solving.' If your goal is to learn best practices for the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System, try 'CPARS: Avoiding Pitfalls, Restoring Value.' Would you like to try your hand at the world of source selection? Sign up to attend the all-day Source Selection Simulation. Hungry to learn how to avoid risk or gain insight into Requests for Information? You might want to attend the 'Contractual Risk' workshop or the half-day session on 'Communicating the Acquisition Need: RFIs and Capability Statements.' No matter what, you are sure to get fresh perspectives, gain new strategies, and develop a deeper understanding from these unique, interactive sessions.

2. Create New Connections and Strengthen Old

In-person events are becoming more popular again. A recent survey targeting meeting and event planners showed 81% of meetings in 2022 will have an in-person component, a rapid increase from the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. As an event thrown by NCMA, GCMS caters to professionals in the procurement field. It provides a great space to meet and reconnect with fellow contracting professionals. GCMS is the perfect space to find a new opportunity to advance your career. At least 70% of jobs are not publicized, and 80% have been landed through networking. NCMA expects over 1,000 people to take part in GCMS this year, with an estimated 700 people attending in person. The event provides plenty of opportunities to network; a holiday welcome, two exhibitor breakfast events, four refreshment breaks, two networking lunches, two coffee/dessert breaks, and even a cocktail reception power hour. NCMA is also throwing a Contract Management Career Fair open to all interested contract management professionals, even if they're not registered for GCMS.

3. Support NCMA

Let's face it, there are not a lot of national organizations dedicated to making you a better contract management professional, especially those that devote an entire conference to the Government buyer perspective. Since its start over 60 years ago, NCMA has strived to provide the contracting community with high-quality training and resources to support their professional growth. This event is a diverse, inclusive community of professionals who are seen as leaders, with access to information, advanced techniques, and connections to peers who share best practices, professional insights, and lessons learned in the contracting profession. Since 1959, NCMA has cultivated experts in procurement and acquisitions and gives a voice to this critically important but often overlooked field.

4. Discover Through Experiences

This year's GCMS theme highlights the best of Government contracting talent, skills, and experience applied to getting solutions most directly and recognizes practitioners' critical contributions and achievements. Every GCMS session this year features experiences right from the field. Share strategies for crucial conversations when the stakes are high and opinions are strong. Attend any of the two dozen educational tracks, six deep dive sessions, or two immersive workshops to support your current work, explore new processes, and lead you toward career growth. Join any of the seven in-person discussions around best practices for driving Contracting Officer Representative (COR) collaboration, enhancing the efficiency of proposal debriefs, or communities of practice for innovative contracting. Leave this event with new solutions to problems that you can bring back and share with your team.

5. Learn to Think Differently

GCMS provides a unique and invaluable experience to hear directly from top experts in the field using novel approaches and technology. For example, how do you ensure vendors are incentivized to pursue new and creative ideas even after winning the contract? During their session, the Contracting Chief of Defense Healthcare Management Systems (CD-DHMS), Matt Hudson, alongside Bidscale's Founder, Tony Kwag, will teach you 'How Government Can Buy Like a Venture Capitalist.' Learn from a 2022 NCMA Innovation in Contracting Award winner about leveraging once experimental and now permanent 'Commercial Solutions Openings: Buying What's New at Shark-Tank Speed.' Learn nine new innovative procurement techniques taught by practitioners from the DHS Procurement Innovation Lab - a six-hour boot camp condensed into just 60 minutes. The conference speakers come from all walks of Government and even beyond. During GCMS, there will be several sessions with Johnny Quinn, U.S. Olympics bobsledder, former NFL player, and author. Learn how to 'Think Like an Olympian' and 'Cultivate a Champion Mindset' from this unique speaker. These are exciting lessons you won't find in the FAR. New ideas and breakthroughs often come from outside the field. Surgical innovations have come from theater makeup specialists, escalator innovations have come from mining, and inline skaters have offered ideas for safety equipment in construction. In general, the more distant the fields, the more novel the idea.

6. Experience Innovative Vendor Booths and Demonstrations

NCMA events in the past have often attracted fabulously engaging vendor displays. According to EventTrack, 65% of attendees said events help them better understand a product or service. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reports that 92% of event attendees say their main reason for attending is to see new products. What better way to learn about the industry's latest and greatest innovations than from interactive exhibits? Whether it's staying current with NASA SEWP Information Technology (IT) products and services, understanding human capital solutions by Management Concepts, or playing in an arcade to learn how Bidscale's software and playbooks can accelerate acquisition, GCMS is looking to be an exciting and interactive event for all. Whether it be to scout out new opportunities or learn from your nation.

While attending GCMS, visit the Bidscale booth to learn more about the exciting launch of a new SaaS product, Bidscale Connect. A market-intelligence solution that connects Government and Industry, Bidscale Connect is the pioneer way to unlock insights and accelerate the federal acquisition process.

Charting the Future of Defense

The National Defense Strategy (NDS) sets the strategic direction for our military to meet the security threats of tomorrow. Overall, the Defense Strategy focuses on China and Russia as the primary adversaries, but it also emphasizes the importance of global cooperation among allies as well as adversaries to meet threats that are bigger than any one country including climate change, food insecurity, and pandemics. The defense strategy lays out three primary tactics for advancing U.S. and global security.

Integrated Deterrence

The practice of integrated deterrence involves working closely across all branches of the military, warfighting domains, and even across other federal entities to ensure national security. It expands responsibility for deterring adversaries beyond the Department of Defense (DoD), involving the intelligence community, health agencies, environmental agencies, and more. Continue reading

Learning to Love Machine Learning in Government

Machine Learning (ML) and other aspects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are becoming a critical part of government modernization plans. The fear that "machines will replace people" has largely disappeared. In fact, people see the benefit that ML provides for human workers. ML technology allows machines to do what they are best at - fast computation of large data sets - freeing up humans to do what they do best - analyzing and making sense of the data produced.

The new reality is that while machines will not replace people, those that refuse to adopt and adapt to AI-enabled tools may in fact find themselves replaced by other people that do. The proof is in the pudding. ML tools are helping government teams meet critical challenges of unemployment fraud, natural disasters, racial equity, and healthcare. Continue reading