If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you. (not just for Contracting Officers!)

Three contracting officers walk into a bar…

Have you heard that one?  What do you think of when someone says “let’s talk to the contracting officer” or “it’s in the purchasing manager’s hands”?  Happy thoughts? Confidence?  Dread?

Kevin and Paul discuss the stereotypes associated with the contracting, subcontracting, and purchasing/supply chain profession.  Learn how to recognize the signs that you’re becoming a stereotype or dealing with a stereotype and how to overcome (and even conquer) the perception.


This episode is brought to you by Skyway Acquisition.  To get help with the Government market, become a Skyway Community member. The Skyway Community ensures you are better positioned to take advantage of opportunities and better equipped to manage the challenges of government contracts.  Members have access to one-on-one insights, time-saving tools, and training resources from Skyway’s team of former COs, including the ability to get the perspective of the entire team in the “Ask A Contracting Officer” Forum, get specialized training from on-demand webinars and articles, targeting support through the RFP Score™ assessment tool, as well as custom consulting from Skyway’s team of former COs who help solve your unique puzzles. To learn more, visit askskyway.com or call 877-884-5280.


Kevin Jans and Paul Schauer created the Contracting Officer Podcast to help Government and Industry acquisition professionals understand more about how the other side thinks.  Admittedly, the podcast’s name sounds very limiting.  It is not just for contracting officers or even just for those in the contracting profession.  Anyone with an interest in the Federal acquisition world can benefit from the insight and down-to-earth explanations of complicated topics provided by the hosts

  • Lorie Walther

    The Contracting Officer Podcast the most unique professional tool available and absolutely incredible!
    Somehow, you both make discussing very complex topics easier to understand and the way you both explain things makes listening fun. I find myself laughing quite a few times and thinking back to podcasts in the middle of a similar situation discussed on the podcast. Even my husband, who works in a completely unrelated industry (aviation mgt) has started to listen to the podcast.

    Recently, I listened to the ‘247.247 – Don’t be a Stereotype’ which really had me thinking about FAR 1.102-4 (e), which permits the acquisition team to innovate and use sound business judgement.
    Personally, I feel that this statement is the entire intent behind the codification of the FAR so that as an industry we are focused on maintaining a balance between “innovation and sound business judgement”. I mean the FAR even provides for Class Deviations and states as long as it’s not illegal and so on.
    It seems as though risk-adverse decisions are consistently being made and we forget the charge to make sound business judgement. For this reason, you’re below comments regarding stereotypes, I find rings-true:
    “Blindly using the rules to not do something”
    “Weaponizing rules to avoid having to make decisions”
    “Trying to make everything binary”.
    Your example was perfect: “When the rules are not explicit or do not give the latitude just document your decision and rationale. Audit might not agree but they will give you credit for intentional behavior over negligence”. Then the example was provided about the rule for a minimum of three or more quotes in order to comply with competition requirements …and that some get hung-up in situations where there is literally only two vendors/contracts that can compete.
    Anyhow, this made me think about FAR 1.102-4 (e) encourages us to think outside the box to achieve the best Business Solution, specifically: “If a policy or procedure, or a particular strategy or practice, is in the best interest of the Government and *****is not specifically addressed in the FAR******, nor prohibited by law (statute or case law), Executive order or other regulation, Government members of the Team *****should not assume it is prohibited*****. Rather, *****absence of direction should be interpreted as permitting**** the Team to innovate and use ****sound business judgment **** that is otherwise consistent with law and within the limits of their authority. Contracting officers should take the lead in encouraging business process innovations and ensuring that business decisions are sound.

    You guys are awesome. Hope to see you at the 2019 NCMA World Congress!

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