The continuing resolution currently in place that expires on December 11 and the role of research and development work in that effort were the key points of focus at the Potomac Officers Club‘s “FY 15 Budget & Procurement” summit Wednesday in McLean, Virginia.
An audience of executives from the GovCon and government communities heard from several of their peers from the government, business and academic worlds to gain insight and perspective into how the new Congress and uncertainty over funding will impact the GovCon sector in fiscal years 2015 and beyond.
This group of leaders at the intersection of the public and private sectors also had the opportunity to ask questions of their peers on stage during interactive sessions after each set of remarks.
Individual speakers in order of appearance included:
- Chip Fulghum, chief financial officer at the Department of Homeland Security
- Jennifer Walsmith, senior acquisition executive at the National Security Agency
- Jim McAleese, GovCon analyst and founder of McAleese & Associates
- Mike McCord, chief financial officer and comptroller at the Defense Department
- Arnold Punaro, CEO of the Punaro Group
Fulghum, who held the acting CFO role for nine months prior to his confirmation in September, described DHS’ efforts to align its recapitalization agenda with increased spending in areas such as the workforce and information technology infrastructure.
He also outlined the department’s push to get planning guidance to components ahead of new budgets and moves to get senior acquisition executives in place at individual components.
Walsmith discussed how NSA feels budget impacts from different avenues and efforts to adjust as the agency holds a dual presence in both the defense and intelligence communities.
She also overviewed NSA’s approach to “low price-technically acceptable” procurements and how cloud computing acquisitions have evolved since the agency started to look at cloud in 2008.
McAleese analyzed the financial performance of many of the largest U.S. defense contractors and how the investment community has responded to both merger-and-acquisition activity and share repurchase moves by the companies.
He also offered his perspective on where the military’s funding priorities could be between this fiscal year and fiscal 2019, as well as how contractors will adjust to the Pentagon’s “Better Buying Power 3.0” initiative.
McCord highlighted how the Pentagon’s leadership team views the 2011 Budget Control Act and related sequestration cuts as moves that have brought more uncertainty to how the military plans for the long-term future.
He also overviewed how economic factors such as low inflation rates and low oil prices have affected DoD’s base budget and the different methods the Pentagon has at its disposal to reduce spending in a sequester environment.
Punaro gave the GovCon executive audience a forecast on what actions he believes Congress will take over the next year in the budget arena and which priorities lawmakers will have on spending.
In between the remarks of McCord and Punaro, a panel of GovCon industry leaders discussed the impact of cloud computing on technology budgets at agencies and the long-term prospects of cloud acquisitions in the public sector.
Alan Balutis, a senior director of the North American public sector for Cisco‘s (NASDAQ: CSCO) business solutions group, served as moderator for the panel that also included:
- Casey Coleman, a client vice president at AT&T’s government solutions business
- Mark Johnson, acting chief information officer for the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration
- Steve Picot, vice president of federal sales at Vion
- Keith Salisbury, vice president of federal at Pivotal
Other topics of discussion for the panel included the FedRAMP process and new methods for agencies to acquire cloud tools.
For the next POC event on January 21, 2015, the focus will turn toward the intelligence community for the “2015 Intel Summit, ” which will serve as another forum for GovCon executives to hear directly from leaders of intelligence agencies.
James Clapper, national intelligence director, will deliver the keynote at this event alongside a growing lineup of federal intelligence executives that will interact with attendees.
Click here to register for this event and learn more about the others.