Sequestration Frustration Peaks Among Contract Managers

Photograph by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Demonstrators protest proposed cuts to social security, medicare and medicaid in Boston.

In the federal contracting world it’s “frustration all around” as the government careens toward yet another deadline for automatic cuts known as sequestration, according to the head of the National Contract Management Association.

“Some things have been resolved, but nothing in terms of government contracting,” Michael Fischetti, the organization’s executive director, said in an interview with Bloomberg reporters and editors. “The latest legislation — it just kind of kicks the can in terms of uncertainty.”

A last-minute deal signed by President Barack Obama raised tax rates on top earners but didn’t resolve the other half of the so-called fiscal cliff — across-the-board federal spending cuts that both parties have said they want to avoid.

Contractors face a March 1 deadline when cuts totaling about $85 billion in 2013 are due to begin hitting national security and domestic programs. A divided Congress has less than two months to pass an alternate deficit reduction scheme that averts the indiscriminate cuts.

Frustration among contract managers has reached “probably the highest level that I can recall,” Fischetti said.


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