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government contracting

Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

VA IG: Senior official pressured employees to award FedBid contracts

A Veteran's Health Administration procurement executive pressured employees and worked the acquisition system to award FedBid contracts for reverse-auctions, a Sept. 26 Veteran's Affairs Department inspector general report says. The report (pdf) says Susan Taylor, VHA's deputy chief procurement officer, in 2010 pressured staff repeatedly in emails to speed up the acquisition process and pick FedBid- a Vienna, Va. based reverse auction vendor- for the reverse auction contracts.

DoD unveils third iteration of Better Buying Power initiative

The Defense Department unveiled the third iteration of its Better Buying Power initiative, which is meant to cut acquisition costs for the DoD. Better Buying Power, which was launched in 2010, provides a set of best practices to improve acquisition through cost control and the elimination of unproductive processes and bureaucracy.

GAO: Contracting officers not monitoring 8(a) subcontracting limits

Contracting officers aren't collecting information on the amount of work subcontractors are doing for prime small business contractors with set aside contracts, a Sept. 16 Government Accountability Office report says. Small Businesses Administration's 8(a) program, is meant to help developing small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals get contracts with the federal government through set asides.

Anne Rung confirmed to head OFPP

The Senate Thursday confirmed Anne Rung by voice voted to head the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. The top spot at the Office of Management and Budget's procurement policy shop has been vacant since Joe Jordan left for the private sector eight months ago.

GSA: OASIS cleared of bid protests

Federal agencies can begin using the General Services Administration's OASIS contracting because the Court of Federal Claims and Government Accountability Office denied all bid protests, a Sept. 3 GSA statement says. The GSA issued an official Notice to Proceed OASIS so both OASIS and OASIS Small Business--GSA's small business set-aside contract--are ready for business, GSA says.

IG: EPA contracting oversight program lacks structure, guidance

Ambiguous guidance, organizational structure and a lack of resources is hampering the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to manage acquisition compliance, a Sept. 2 EPA inspector general report says. In 2012, the EPA initiated the Contract Management Assessment Program as part of the agency's office of acquisition management.

OFPP, OSTP release guide to innovative acquisition

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy and the Office of Science and Technology Policy released a guide to acquisition innovations to better help contracting officers get creative under tight budgets. The first version of Innovative Contracting Case Studies--an evolving document--describes a number of ways federal agencies are getting more innovation per taxpayer dollar under existing laws and regulations, an Aug. 21 blog post says.

Hixson: Tight budgets cause contracting officers to be risk-averse

Federal procurement officers tend to favor lowest price over technically acceptable contract vehicles because of the scrutiny placed on spending in tough budget times and that makes it difficult for those contracting officers to take risks, Federal Acquisition Service Regional Commissioner Tiffany Hixson said in an interview. "Right now there is a culture of being risk averse almost to point of taking no risk for fear of being criticized," Hixson said. "That's really driving some of the LPTA preference."

GSA and Air Force partner to look at savings in GSA contracts

The General Services Administration and the Air Force established a working group to help identify ways to save money on enterprise-wide contracts, an Aug. 18 GSA blog post says. The working group will look into which GSA contracts the Air Force can use to cut costs, but still complete its mission, the blog post says.

GSA awards 95 percent of OS3 contracts

The General Services Administration has awarded 95 percent of its contracts for the third iteration of the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative for Office Supplies, an Aug. 12 GSA statement says. GSA issued 21 FSSI OS3 contracts, with 20 of them going to small businesses and there's potential for more small business contracts pending further review, the emailed statement says.