The problem with Government contracting

I am often asked if we “do government contracting’. When people in the Washington D.C. metro area find out that I am the president of a private security firm, they immediately think “government”. While there are small (and not so small) fortunes to be made in that arena, it is also rife with problems.

The Washington Post on Friday ran a story about such a problem involving Air Force officers “steering” a contract to a company that “barely existed” but had a recently retired four-star general onboard. The article describes how the head of the selection team almost immediately “caved” and gave in after the highest ranking officer in the room, Maj. Gen. Stephen Goldfein advised them that if he could pick the winner, it would be SMS (the company with the recently retired four-star General)

Another member of the team described it as the dirtiest thing he had ever experienced. This is one ofthe reasons why so many small businesses can not compete in the lucrative but unfairly biased world of government contracting. While we work hard to attract customers and retain clients AFTER we run the gauntlet of bureaucratic requirements: licensing, federal and state compliance, insurance, building permits, etc. – those with a retired general on their payroll can win a $50 million dollar contract when they barely exist.

My question is this: if we are willing to jail unscrupulous CEOs who act fraudulently and unethically, why can’t we send these high ranking officers to the brig (USDB) at Ft. Leavenworth after they have been stripped of their rank and pensions? I have a feeling that this action would send out a pretty clear message. These brassed-up bullies need to be taught a lesson. It’s about time that we gave the “little guys” a break and punished the bullies.

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