Religious services as a commodity?

From the Really? file of federal procurement: The Army is conducting a reverse auction for Catholic priest services.

The line items in the notice on FedBizOpps.gov released Oct. 16 include:

  • Holy Days of Obligation
  • Sunday Mass
  • Saturday Mass
  • Sacraments
  • Emergency Calls
  • Contract manpower reporting

As one industry executive wondered, “When did religious services become a commodity?”

Over the last 90 days on FedBizOpps.gov, there are nine procurement actions with the term “religious services,” and only the Army is using reverse auctions.

On top of the commoditization of religious services, the Army is using FedBid to conduct the reverse auction. The company remains in good standing with the government, but given the concerns with the Veterans Affairs Department, it seems the service is setting itself up for a double shot of criticism.

This post is part of Jason Miller’s Inside the Reporter’s Notebook feature. Read more from this edition of Jason’s Notebook.

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