From Homeland Security Today: PERSPECTIVE: The Lingering Scars of the Government Shutdown on Contractors
There was a time when the government was seen as the most stable customers that any company could possess. While not always timely or efficient, government still operated with regularity and dependability. But that is no longer true. Reliable budget and appropriation cycles no longer occur as continuing resolutions and short-term funding bills increasingly provide incremental “pay as you go government.” That’s a dreadful enough environment to operate in as a government but it’s even more precarious if you’re a government contractor who is dedicated to supporting that customer.
DHS has long been a mixed bag in terms of being a dependable customer. While certainly funded with deep pockets for most of its operations, poorly defined requirements, procurement operations challenges, frequent leadership vacuums and less than stellar engagements with the private sector have made DHS a customer with which many companies are refraining from doing business. Add to those conditions the prospect of being obligated to perform government support functions, and then not get paid because the administration and Congress can’t fulfill their budgetary responsibilities, and you can understand why there is a bitter taste in their mouth.
The Diva would add that recent threats to holding back promised federal funds for recovery in Puerto Rico and the CA wildfires, to name just two major disasters, is another reason why the federal government is not a reliable partner.