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21 July 2010

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Jackie

Sir,
Not into spelling lessons, because the last time I checked success was spelled with two c's, not one. How are we to succeed if we can't even spell it correctly?

Walrus

High grade Buzzwords, plus:

"Integrate the intelligence community" - thems fightin' words in any bureaucracy in any country.

"Integrate Foreign and Domestic intelligence" - Sounds sinister.

"Analyst transformation" - into what? Klingons?

Then there is the "Trends" slide. Those I take great exception to our as follows:

"flattened, fluid, flexible organisation" - exactly how do you provide accountability in such a structure?

"employee mobility from 30 year career to 3 -5 year contract" - if this is true, then it represents a major dumbing down.


"risk taking " - with what consequences?

"collaboration essential" - sure, "collaborate" tooth and claw.


Then there is the "communication" slide about all that wonderful technology... Forgetting that 90% of communication is non verbal.


Acquisition : "We can't spy if we can't buy!"

....and a request for more acquisition resources to improve performance.

Then there are goals vision, challenges and initiatives...although how those are to be achieved by inexperienced personnel working on Three to Five Year contracts is anyones guess. Acquisition/purchasing is a skilled art that must be learnt over time.

At least the words "knowledge management" weren't used, and I didn't see one "Strategic Alignment."

I'm sorry but as an old cynic, my suspicion is that the others who see this will just think "bohica".

Cieran

It's fully buzzword-enabled!

Brian Hart

Col., I hope there is some secret decoder ring message or some demonic symbolism hidden in the slides you can point out to me because I've looked at them twice and I can't see that it said a damned thing even with 17 slides? I give up. Throw me a bone here.

Fred

Col,

I've been working for a multi-billion dollar procurement department that sources globally for almost a decade. Purchasing is process; the people doing it need some (or a great deal) of technical product knowledge depending on what they are buying as well as purchasing skills.

Just what is DNI procurement buying? (Besides the consultants' BS). What audience was this presentation meant for?

A couple of specific comments
Slide 7, What the heck is meant by fax machines and email as a 'trend'?
Slide 11, procurement going up before 9-11; that's Cheney/Rumsfeld's outsourcing actions,that's a big part of the increased government spending everyone has been complaining about.
Slide 12,two things -
1. Increased attention and scrutiny is a 'challenge'? In procurement? Are they kidding?
2. The IC procurement policy has only know been drafted? How long as DNI been around?
Slide 15, What contract terms does the author (not the supplier I hope!)
think is overly constrained?

Automation and 'e-procurement' are in this multiple times. What are they buying and Who's auditing or reviewing all those 'automated' contracts?

"Continue strategic sourcing effort ..." just which beltway bandits are they going to make long term preferred suppliers, who will then have theleverage to raise prices and constrain competition?

"Develop mentor-protégé relationships; partner with small business and academia"
For the procurement function?
They are not re-creating the wheel here, they've bought in to the consultants
telling them that they need one of every color.

Let me know if Clapper's hiring.

peg

i couldn't open the link -- i don't have the ability on my computer, darn it. thanks to the others for giving me snipets.

i just read this:

Obama Faces New Doubts on Pursuing Afghan War
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/22/world/asia/22assess.html

what has to happen to get out of there? (i am venting)


and this:

Water Dispute Increases India-Pakistan Tension
"...A genuine water shortage in Pakistan, and the country’s inability to store large quantities of water, has only made matters worse, exposing it to any small variation in rainfall or river flow. Pakistan is about to slip into a category of country the United Nations defines as “water scarce.” ..."
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/21/world/asia/21kashmir.html?pagewanted=all

i remember the folks in the Pentagon saying that there will be wars over water. examples:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2004/feb/22/usnews.theobserver/print

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/31/pentagon-ranks-global-warming-destabilising-force


we are in a heap of trouble, huh?

William R. Cumming

How many power point divisions does the US have to fight its battles? Paraphrasing of course STALIN's famous line--how many divisions does the POPE have?

Adam L Silverman

Fred: these slides are from an early 2007 presentation. So they were done fairly early on.

Mr. Hart: my takeaway is the pie chart slide indicating that 70% of intel function was being outsourced to the private sector, which is over twice as high as what was indicated in the WaPo piece.

R Whitman

Who was this presentation prepared for? Who is the consumer? Congress?? Someone spent a lot of money and time putting this together so it is intended to bullshit someone important.Who??

Fred

Adam,

Who was this presented too? It looks like an exercise in empire building. Outside of truly unique equipment, software and very specific consulting and logistics there should be little that can't be done by existing purchasing departments. They need to train the managers on how procurement contracts are written and why, and then train the purchasing agents. This isn't that hard a process nor should it be outsourced.

Peg, would that be the water war between western states (i.e. Colorado, etc) and California or the Great Lakes states and the water bottlers who want to pay zero for a state resource?

Fred

Walrus,

Ahmen brother. The last word says it all.

Andy

Adam,

I don't think it's quite right to say that 70% of the intel function is outsourced - that's quite different from what the slide says - which is 70% of money spent on contracts.

You need to keep in mind that the bulk of this contract money is spent acquiring expensive technology and supporting that technology, not necessarily "outsourcing" capability, though that is obviously happening too.

To give you an example, the NRO is essentially a big contracting agency that buys satellites for the intelligence community. Most of the computers, communications, software and other stuff the IC buys in bulk comes from private industry and it all falls under that 70% piece of the pie. This type of contracting is nothing new, and I do think it's increased significantly since 9/11.

What I would like to see is data that breaks-out money spent on actual intelligence services, which, to me at least, is what constitutes actually outsourcing the intelligence function.

b

Which contractor did get the contract to deliver that powerpoint buzzword show?

Adam L Silverman

Fred: according to footnote five in the article at the link below it was presented to something called the Industry Conference.

Adam L Silverman

Andy: according to A 2007 article written by a Vinh Nguyen, a DOD analyst for planning at:
http://www.afcea.org/signal/articles/templates/Signal_Article_Template.asp?articleid=1440&zoneid=222
70% of intelligence activities from collection to analysis to dissemination were outsourced to private contractors. This was the percentage I heard bandied about a lot in reporting up through about 2008. The recent WaPo's reporting of around 30% is certainly a contrast and I think you have an excellent point, but have no way of reconciling the two different set of percentages, let alone your take on this.

Andy

Adam,

Yeah, it's not exactly clear. That's why I think it would be useful if someone could break the numbers out. Since the DNI, just a few days ago, said he would declassify most of the budget, maybe we'll find out.

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