The General Services Administration began rolling out its new governmentwide commercial payment system, says a Jan. 21 GSA statement. GSA will begin issuing Chip & PIN-enabled charge cards in sometime January, the statement says, and comes as a result of an Oct. 17, 2014 executive order meant to improve the security of consumer financial transactions.
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy is moving forward with its plan to break down products the government buys into core categories, says a Jan. 7 OFPP statement. In December, the Strategic Sourcing Leadership Council, comprised of the seven largest and highest-spending agencies, approved dividing the federal marketplace into ten super categories of commonly purchased items, the statement says.
The Defense Department updated the way it buys products by emphasizing a tailored approach to buying individual products and services in a Jan. 7 DoD memo. The DoD updated its Instruction 5000.02 document which lays out how the agency buys its goods and services.
The Small Business Administration issued a proposed rule that would let two or more small businesses join together to bid on single small business contracts, a Dec. 29 Federal Register notice says.
The Defense Department's contracting office didn't comply with government auditing practices when it rejected nearly $7 million in costs claimed by an unnamed contractor, a Dec. 23 DoD inspector general report says. The Defense Contracting Audit Agency determined in 2008 that there wasn't enough documentation based on a sample of 70 subcontractor invoices worth $13.5 million to justify the full payout, the report (pdf) says.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's overall cost estimating procedures do not create reliable cost estimates, a recently released Dec. 12 Government Accountability Office report says. While some of the NRC's cost estimation procedures incorporate best practices, the agency isn't doing enough to make sure the cost estimates are accurate, the report says.
The General Services Administration will be able to offer its third iteration of the office supplies strategic sourcing contract again after the last of its bid protests was denied Wednesday.
The Patent and Trademark Office didn't follow best practices when monitoring its time-and-materials contracts for the amount of work done by a contractor, says a Dec. 3 Commerce Department inspector general report. The IG reviewed (pdf) 103 contracts worth $35.4 million and found that contracts $24.6 million lacked the proper oversight to determine whether payments made to the contractors were warranted.
Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Anne Rung laid out a three point plan to improve the federal procurement process, including buying certain products governmentwide, in a Dec. 4 memo. Rung says in the memo (pdf) that there is a "critical need" for a new way of purchasing that moves from managing purchases individually across thousands of contracts to managing entire categories of common purchases governmentwide.
The Project on Government Oversight criticized the Defense Department for not being able to bring service contract spending under control. In a Nov. 25 letter (pdf) to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, POGO charged the DoD with hindering efforts to reign in its service contract spending.