Kara Sacilotto is a partner in Wiley Rein’s Government Contracts Practice and chair of the Section of Public Contract Law for 2018 – 19.
For those of you I have not seen, belated Happy New Year! By the time you read this, I will be midway through my term as chair. Things that I’m happy to have accomplished thus far include reinvigorating our LinkedIn group site (I will plot a devious plan against my chief Twitter foe to get a Twitter account going before my term is up. Oh yes, I will!); posting a welcome video on our website with more videos to come from other Section members; writing and posting a comprehensive “FAQ” on every question I could think of about how the Section works; attending as many Committee meetings as my schedule will allow; shaking up the format of some of our events, like receptions; promoting speaking opportunities to the Diversity Committee, substantive Committees, and the membership at large; and communicating more regularly regarding Section happenings and goings on.
In the remainder of my term, besides defeating my Twitter nemesis (she knows who she is …), I will bring at least one service project to the Section, lean into promoting diversity and broad inclusion in the Section, and continue to be supportive of our Committee work by attending as many meetings as possible.
The next big Section event is the 25th Anniversary of the Federal Procurement Institute (FPI) beginning the afternoon of Wednesday, March 13, and concluding on Saturday, March 16. There are a number of terrific sessions planned, including a practicum on data rights and markings, and panels such as:
• “Ask the Judges”—bid protests and recent decisions impacting Court of Federal Claims’ jurisdiction
• Ethics for government attorneys
• Status of teaming agreements
• Cybersecurity developments affecting government contracting
• Leveraging data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence
• Corporate integrations after a merger/acquisition
• The impact of war on claims litigation
• Nontraditional government contracts
• Best practices in spinoffs, divestitures, and corporate integration
• Subcontracting on a federal construction project
We will have our traditional networking receptions and most excellent “No Host Dinners” (Annapolis, batten the hatches!). The program is at the same hotel, just with a new name (Hotel Annapolis) and under new management. Make your reservations soon because the hotel fills up quickly.
In closing, I wish to explain some of the thinking about how the Section selects committee leadership positions, program chairs, and speakers. As part of promoting diversity and inclusion and to ensure that we are careful stewards of the Section, the Section leaders, including Committee co-chairs and vice chairs and Program chairs, are attentive to providing opportunities to our diverse members and colleagues, our government partners, and our more junior members. This includes promoting diversity in appointments and all of our program panels, providing opportunities to new speakers who may not have ever presented at a Section program, and soliciting different perspectives across all sectors of the industry. Our long-standing members who are experts in the field have made our Section the strong, collegial organization that it is today. Bringing along and providing opportunities to new voices, different perspectives, and diverse backgrounds will ready our Section for the future. I hope you will all join me in this goal.
Thank you, and see you all at FPI.