Despite a big policy push from the administration, some agencies have lagged in implementing guidance dealing with interagency contracting, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office. Still, GAO said the creation of a policy framework by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy had gone a long way toward ameliorating some of the issues that landed interagency contracting on the watchdog agency’s high-risk list eight years ago, such as duplication and unclear lines of authority between agencies.
Dan Gordon, associate dean for Government Procurement at the George Washington University Law school will discuss a wide range of procurement issues. October 2, 2012
GSA’s System for Award Management is finding its footing after a rough start. OFPP Administrator Joe Jordan said he’s watching the systems’ progress carefully.
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy and GSA are working on a directory of Federal Supply Schedule blanket purchase agreements. The database would help fix one of the ”biggest blind spots” in federal acquisition today, said Dan Gordon, OFPP administrator. OFPP’s memo to require business cases for multiple-award contracts received praise for its direct and specific requirements.
Agencies must develop a business case and post it on an internal government site for others to comment on. OFPP also wants senior acquisition officials to sign off on justifications before moving out with a final solicitation. The new guidance comes as GAO and others have found the proliferation of multiple award contracts is costing agencies and vendors millions of dollars.
Bob Suda, the president of Suda and Associates, explains what the final guidance means for agencies and contractors.
OFPP administrator Dan Gordon told a Senate committee that a new rule to add more oversight to multi-agency contracts should be out soon. Agencies wanting to develop new multiple award contracts will have to justify them before going forward. OFPP is also trying to use strategic sourcing to take advantage of the government’s buying power.
The FAR Councils issued an interim rule requiring changes to the use of and oversight of interagency contracts. OFPP reports that agencies spent $52 billion on multiple award and GWACs in 2009. The new requirements will help get that spending under better control, the councils say.
Administrator Gordon says strategic sourcing is one way to ensure the government gets the lowest price and to consolidate existing contracts. Gordon also wants agencies to submit business cases for new multi-agency contracts, but doesn’t commit to asking agencies to justify all types of multiple award contracts.
Audit agency calls for business cases to justify new multiple award contracts, and a database listing all existing contracts. Sen. McCaskill plans to hold a second hearing on interagency contracting in June.