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Federal R&D questions

Date published: 11/8/2012

Federal R&D questions

For many years I've monitored federal procurements of research and development needs of government, doing so for clients. Historically, there were about 125 entries a week across all federal agencies. Know that it is illegal for agencies to solicit offers unless a need and budget exist for such procurements.

For the week ending Oct. 19, there were 55 "solicitations"--but only two were real. All other listings were not real actions but included "Special Notices," "Pre-solicitations," "Sources Sought," "Request for Information," or modifications to prior announcements.

All of these are published to give the appearance of "action," but there isn't any. This "hype" by our government is, I know from study, meant to give the appearance of activity.

Is all this important? Yes--hundreds of billions of dollars are involved annually and make Virginia especially vulnerable due to its reliance on federal R&D buying. Notably, this form-without-substance reporting is deceitful and makes the public less trustful of government.

R. Barry Ashby