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25 September 2012


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Fabulous, Jim. Highly pertinent.

My money is on more rounds of tweaks, supposed efficiency and streamlining moves, and more process on top of an maybe once in a while in place of existing process. The USG is a process-loving beast. But I'm just old and cynical. Maybe some of the kahuna types will import you and some of your UT colleagues. Could only be for the best.



Instead of companies, you could look at other countries which has procurement systems which actually work. This would take you out of the anglo-saxon sphere however, I am pretty sure there are no good examples to be had there. The UK, Canada and Australia are as bad or worse as the USA.

Swedish FMV for example has been awarded the best place to work in Sweden four years in a row.* An exceptionally competent organization which has had a great deal to do with the continued existance and relevance of the Swedish defense industry.

But I doubt it would work in the US. After all, the problem is that "the powers that be" (anyone who prospers in the current environment) don't really want clear rules and competent technocrats.

They want processes that are complicated and technocrats who do what they're told. These are easier to dominate and manipulate.

*(says three times in the link. But they won the next year again.)

Tack så mycket! That's a great suggestion. I know some people at the FMV, and once assisted with some advisory work there. And while I've seen a more than a few comparative transnational government procurement studies, most have been more about the external politics than the internal processes. Moreover, I've encountered plenty of Americans in this business who blithely assume that it's at least as bad overseas. Having worked a bit with just the FMV, I have at least one counterexample.

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  • James Hasik is a senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council, and an associate professor of the practice of industrial studies at the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, a college of the National Defense University in Washington DC. Since September 2001, he has been studying global security challenges and the economic enterprises that provide the tools to address them. His opinions are not necessarily those of the NDU, the Defense Department, or the US federal government at all.


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