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Acquisition Community Holds Symposium

NIH's acquisition community held its biennial educational symposium recently at the National Conference Center, Lansdowne, Va. More than 200 acquisition professionals attended the symposium, which had as its theme "NIH Acquisition — Journey into the Future." Diane Frasier, head of the contracting activity at NIH, kicked off the symposium with opening remarks.

Other speakers tackled subjects including human capital and the importance of planning for the departure and replacement of the many federal employees who are eligible to retire in the next 5 years; acquisition restructuring with the "One HHS" initiative in mind; the new NIH Business and Research Support System (NBRSS) and how it will affect everyone in the future; A-76 competitive sourcing and what everyone should expect as more federal jobs are being subjected to competition with the private sector; and teleworking and its advantages to both the government and employee.

Diane Frasier (r), head of the contracting activity at NIH, presents a check for $1,000 to Jan Mahrer of the Children's Inn at NIH.

The speakers included Dr. Greg Milman of NIAID, who directed an entertaining skit entitled "Dark Winter" about a serious subject — a smallpox epidemic. The skit highlighted the many complicating factors involved in containing and reacting to such a disaster and provided detailed information and chilling statistics about such an outbreak. The "actors" were volunteers from the acquisition community.

Journalist Mike Causey, who wrote the Federal Diary column in the Washington Post for over 30 years and is currently with Federal News Radio, also gave his perspective on "The Future for Federal Employees."

Symposium participants had a chance to purchase raffle tickets for such prizes as a DVD player. All prizes were donated and proceeds benefitted the Children's Inn at NIH. At the close of the symposium, Jan Mahrer, director of development and public relations for the inn, accepted a check for $1,000 that was raised by the raffle.

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