chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.

Title

The Procurement Lawyer Spring 2024

Chair’s News: Fall Educational Conference, State and Local Procurement Virtual Conference

Eric Whytsell

Summary

  • We hope the virtual format of the virtual event with NASPO will allow more Section members around the country to participate in it.
  • Section committees continue to plan and host well-attended and productive meeting presentations on a wide range of important topics.
  • Section leadership has also developed additional plans and projects to stimulate Section membership and engagement and ensure the Section remains strong for years to come. 
Chair’s News: Fall Educational Conference, State and Local Procurement Virtual Conference
iStock.com/Jacob Wackerhausen

Jump to:

As I write this column, spring is emerging from the Colorado winter: Temperatures are gradually rising, the snow is beginning to melt in the lower elevations, and our landscape has begun its metamorphosis into something new. Leo Tolstoy once described spring as “the time of plans and projects” and he was right. Just as nature inexorably evolves, so, too, does the Section of Public Contract Law.

In previous columns, I’ve described the ongoing efforts of the Section’s leadership to adapt to, and meet, the shifting needs of our members. Our ongoing efforts are already bearing fruit. Our flagship conference, the Federal Procurement Institute (FPI) in Annapolis, Maryland, was a resounding success. Conference Director Sheila Armstrong and her crack team of Conference Co-Chairs—Mitch Bashur, Jay Carey, Justin Chiarodo, Susan Ebner, and Derek Santos—(along with the administrative magic of Section Director Patty Brennan and Program Specialist Sean Dickerson) delivered another excellent conference, with increased attendance including many first-time attendees, first-rate content, engaging dialogue among the presenters and attendees, and the unique networking opportunities that make FPI so special.

Additionally, work is well underway on the May 30 Committee Showcase (thank you Adam Lasky and host Hogan Lovells) and the upcoming Annual Meeting in Chicago to be held August 1-3 (thank you Conference Director Kelli Hooke and Conference Co-Chairs Ashley Amen, Sarah Burgart, and Erin Felix), both of which promise outstanding opportunities to learn from, and interact with, Section members and speakers. We hope to see you at both events!

Section committees continue to plan and host well-attended and productive meeting presentations on a wide range of important topics. They have also worked with our Legislative and Regulatory Coordinating Committee to draft and submit several Section comment letters to government agencies, each of which reflect the hard work of our Section members and the meaningful impact our efforts have on federal procurement moving forward. Our Membership Officer, Brad Jorgenson, continues to lead several special working groups to identify and reach out to government, in-house counsel, and private practice members to collaborate on how we can further engage them in the Section’s activities and initiatives, and improve the Section’s offerings to them.

In my previous column, I described the Section’s collaboration with the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) and other organizations on the Model Procurement Code (MPC) Update Project. As a result, numerous Section members reached out, expressing interest in participating in this endeavor. If you would like to be engaged in the MPC project, please contact me or Section Director, Patty Brennan. The MPC drafting committees will be addressing everything from source selection and contract formation to cost principles, procurement ethics, artificial intelligence, and more. The more expertise and involvement from our members, the better.

Section leadership has also developed additional plans and projects to stimulate Section membership and engagement and ensure the Section remains strong for years to come.

The 2024 fall educational conference and Council meeting will take place from November 7-9 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Reston, Virginia. Chair-Elect Jason Workmaster appointed past Section Chair Kara Sacilotto of Wiley Rein to serve as Conference Director and together they are assembling a planning team to develop an exciting conference that will include opportunities to interact with in-house legal leaders and government attorneys in new ways. Our goal in hosting the conference in Reston is to facilitate increased attendance from our Beltway Section members, including those in government or in-house positions, by reducing the travel-related time and costs for those members and providing increased access to government speakers. Mark your calendars now!

We have also begun working with our State & Local Procurement Committee and NASPO to develop a new virtual conference to address topics on state and local procurement. Our hope is that the virtual format will allow more Section members (and NASPO attorneys and others) around the country to participate and benefit from content relevant to their practices. We have a number of tentative topics in development but, as always, we’d appreciate more. Please let me know if you have ideas or would be interested in being involved in this new project.

For all these reasons, the Section leaders and I remain very bullish on the future of the Section and excited about working with you to achieve our goals. If you’d like to become more involved in the Section, please email Section Director Patty Brennan. We welcome your participation.

    Author