WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 23, 2015) – With four months into the U.S. federal government’s current fiscal year, industry specialists at a recent government contracting business breakfast, hosted by Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly) and the Washington Business Journal, shared a collective theme for success in 2015: “comply to compete.”
The sold-out event, “Government Contracting in 2015: Balancing Risks to Reap Rewards,” focused on tips for complying with new budget challenges and adjusting to changing government acquisition strategy.
Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel with the Professional Services Council, presented an industry update while Tom Tagle, partner, Baker Tilly government contractor advisory services, focused on audit trends.
Chvotkin’s industry update highlighted the consistently changing government contracting environment and the roles government and contractors must assume for success in 2015. Chvotkin stressed evolving technology, changing workforce demographics, skill competency needs, and shifting competitive positioning. Among insights provided by Chvotkin was that, “the value of incumbency is dropping.”
Tagle’s keynote address focused on Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) audit trends and projections, providing the audience with key historical data and insight on how those developments will impact current contract compliance and future success.
Tagle also emphasized the importance of understanding DCAA’s new approach and how contractors can best position themselves for success. He also cautioned, “If DCAA believes that a key indicator of their effectiveness is the increased ratio of questioned costs to dollars examined, I have a suspicion that we will continue to see an increase in the amount of questioned costs.”
A panel of industry specialists, moderated by Baker Tilly Partner Brent Calhoon, discussed the benefits of working closely with contracting officers, operating in a fixed price contract environment, and utilizing technology solutions to drive compliance. The panel also addressed continued challenges with lowest-priced technically acceptable procurements, and changing viewpoints on protest stigma.
The headlining panel included John Lubratich, senior vice president and chief financial officer, ViON Corporation; Kevin Plexico, vice president of information solutions, Deltek; Rich Rector, partner and government contract chair, DLA Piper; and Clint Woofter, corporate director, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) compliance, AECOM.
The panel discussed timely industry topics; shared their experiences, lessons learned, and predictions for the government contracting environment in 2015 and beyond. “Those who seek competitive advantage will come out on top via compliance,” noted Kevin Plexico. “In this environment, it can be a real competitive advantage if you can be cost effective and compliant.”
“Government Contracting in 2015: Balancing Risks to Reap Rewards” was held February 11, 2015, at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, Virginia. Please connect with Baker Tilly’s government contracting team for more information, including information on upcoming events, by visiting bakertilly.com.