The General Service Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service spent years developing its OASIS program. It’s a $60 billion, multiple award contract for services to be used across government. The request for quotes came out less than two weeks ago, and already two would-be bidders have protested to the Government Accountability Office. They say the OASIS task order criteria is unfair. Devon Hewitt, a government contracts expert at the Protorae law firm, explains what the protest is really all about.
Capt. Judith Epstein Lead Researcher Naval Medical Research Center
Federal researchers have developed a vaccine that provides complete protection against malaria in clinical trials. Scientists with the National Institutes of Health, the Navy and other partners have published the early-stage results in the journal Science. Navy officials say they have been working on a vaccine since the early 1970’s. Capt. Judith Epstein, the Navy’s lead researcher, explains how the vaccine works.
Steve Schooner Co-Director of the Government Procurement Law Program George Washington University
An eager participant in a recent Federal Trade Commission contest has become a disgruntled loser and a warning to all agencies planning public challenges. David Frankel submitted what he thought was an award-winning idea for combating robocalls. He didn’t win, so he appealed. Now, he says the FTC didn’t follow its own contest rules. Steve Schooner, co-director of the Government Procurement Law Program at George Washington University, explains how the case brings into question agencies’ responsibilities in launching challenges.
Not the fiscal cliff once feared, but a roller coaster: That’s how some analysts have described sequestration’s impact on federal budgets. Some agencies are riding high; they’ve canceled furlough days after finding they have more money than expected. But some are rushing to award big contracts before the spare cash disappears at the end of the fiscal year. Kevin Brancato, a defense analyst at Bloomberg Government, explains how much more he expects the government will spend between now and the end of the fiscal year.
Brett Baker Assistant Inspector General National Science Foundation
Thanks to Brett Baker, an assistant inspector general at the National Science Foundation, agencies now have a tool to improve how they award and manage grants. He created an automated system agencies can use to evaluate grants and lower the risk of waste, fraud and abuse.
Talk about swallowing your own medicine: Members of Congress and their staff are buying health coverage for next year through the new health care exchanges. They go online Oct. 1 as part of the Affordable Care Act. The Office of Personnel Management has published a proposed rule explaining the switch-over. Elise Viebeck, a reporter with the Hill, has been tracking this story.
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