PSC’s David Berteau on Impact of COVID-19 on Contractors, Lessons From Current Situation

David Berteau
David Berteau

David Berteau, president and CEO of the Professional Services Council and a two-time Wash100 awardee, told Government Matters in an interview posted Thursday about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on contractors.

He discussed the decline in contract awards in the second quarter as a result of COVID-19.

“The numbers that you see in contract obligations, while it’s not everything the government does, we think it’s reflective of a dampening effect elsewhere and we really need to counter that,” Berteau said. “The priority is on keeping people working, the priority is on keeping the government operating and in order to do that, you have to obligate the available appropriations at a normal pace.”

He mentioned the contractors’ observations on the pace of solicitations for future work and evaluation process during the pandemic.

When asked about the lessons that agencies and contractors can take from the current situation, Berteau said “there are some huge lessons about how we can recruit and retain the workforce that is more agile, more remote.”

Berteau also cited the need for the government to shift its focus from input to results. “I think one of the great lessons of this is we can focus a lot more on the results and outcomes and let’s build procurements and let’s manage the contractors in such a way that we focus on results, that has to be done at the solicitation end, at the evaluation end, at the award end and at the performance end,” he said “We should start today working on that.”

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