Barring any onboarding issues, Nick Nayak is returning to public service as chief procurement officer of the Internal Revenue Service, after a brief stint consulting, multiple sources with inside knowledge of the hire confirmed.
Nayak left government in July 2014, having spent nearly four years as CPO at the Homeland Security Department and, immediately prior to that, 14 years at the IRS.
IRS did not respond to a request for comment.
The role of procurement chief at IRS is currently vacant. David Dasher held the position, but moved on earlier this month to the position of CPO at the First Responder Network Authority, an independent agency within the Commerce Department that is mandated by Congress to build, deploy and operate a nationwide public safety broadband for first responders.
Nayak's kept a relatively low profile during his time away from public sector, explaining his exit in 2014 as an opportunity to consult, guiding acquisition regulation from the purview of industry. That said, he's a dynamic executive; I recall a terrific anecdote he shared with me in 2013 about federal procurement that arguably remains true nearly three years later:
"I read about some guy that has created a contraption — a tumbleweed — that rolls and sets off land mines. The cost? $40. How do we connect with those individuals — people not used to the government contracting community, that are coming up with creative, innovative and possibly inexpensive solutions that can revolutionize how we protect our country? That's what I'm focusing on... The process we have seems to not allow for rapid change. But we're starting to have those conversations before our big buys. Maybe we can find another tumbleweed."
More to come on Nayak's return to IRS, which will likely become official in the first part of 2016.
Jill Aitoro was editor of Defense News. She was also executive editor of Sightline Media's Business-to-Government group, including Defense News, C4ISRNET, Federal Times and Fifth Domain. She brought over 15 years’ experience in editing and reporting on defense and federal programs, policy, procurement, and technology.