Norman R. Augustine’s 2013 Outlook: “I Am Not Optimistic”

Norman Augustine

WashingtonExec 2013 Government Contracting Outlook Series:

The new year brings big changes for the Federal IT industry, and WashingtonExec is back with its Government Contracting Industry Outlook Series.

We are giving local executives the opportunity to share their thoughts on where they see our industry headed this year and beyond. Leaders were asked a series of questions focused on cloud computing, healthcare IT, defense, mobility, and more.

Norman R. Augustine is the retired chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, and former President Council of Advisors member for Science and Technology under President Clinton and President Bush. He has spoken with us before to tell us what his fourteen words for success are, and he’s back to give us his predictions on what to expect in 2013:

“The number one priority for the government in 2013 should be to fix the underlying factors that currently inhibit the creation of jobs:  poor K-12 education, underinvestment in higher education and research, a burdensome national debt, antiquated immigration policy, excessive litigation, taxes and regulations … to name but a few.  And to have jobs one needs employers…and seldom has there been more reason for employers and government to work together.

I am not optimistic.  It has little to do with partisan politics.  It has a lot to do with well meaning policies that over the years have had the unintended effect of keeping people with business knowledge out of government.  During my career I spent a decade in various positions in the federal government as well as several decades in the private sector.  When I first was offered a senior position as a public servant years ago no one turned down such a request; today, the opposite is largely true—to the detriment of the nation as a whole

While the Founding Fathers wisely didn’t want government to be run like a business, with somewhat authoritarian leadership, government could benefit greatly from including more leaders with business knowledge in its talent pool.”

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