Brooks honored as father of modern procurement

Brooks honored as father of modern procurement

Jack Brooks, Post Newsweek Tech Media's civilian executive of the last 20 years

Jack Brooks, the 80-year-old former Texas congressman, is still as spirited and sharp-tongued as he was when he dressed-down agency executives appearing before his House Government Operations Committee. The audience chuckled at his recollections Wednesday night when he accepted Post Newsweek Tech Media's award as civilian executive of the last 20 years at a gala ceremony in Washington.

'I feel proud to see all these people making more money than I ever imagined, and their success is my reward,' Brooks said. 'I wanted the government to be on the leading-edge of technology, and it is.'

The Brooks Act of 1965 mandated procurement competition, lowest-price bidding and centralized management of IT. The act played a large role in building up the IT industry and spurring innovative technologies at agencies.

'It opened up the government market to many of these computer entrepreneurs,' Brooks said. 'A tremendous industry developed,' which has improved the decision-making ability of government executives, he said.

Brooks, now retired in Beaumont, Texas, served 42 years in the House where he also chaired the Judiciary Committee. He introduced the Government Paperwork Reduction Act and legislation to establish the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

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