The Postal Service should rescind its facilities contract delegation because the contracting officers aren't required to meet professional qualifications or establish competition requirements, an Aug. 5 USPS inspector general report says. USPS's Supply Management office is responsible for approving contracts to acquire goods and services, but they can delegate contracting authority to personnel outside of Supply Management, the report says.
The General Services Administration finalized contracts that it says will save the federal government billions on airfare in fiscal 2015. Under GSA's City Pair Program airfare rates for the federal government's official travel are pre-negotiated and fixed-price for a year offering a 23 percent discount below corporate benchmark fares, an Aug. 7 GSA statement says.
The Veterans Affairs Department is seeking information on its latest iteration of a sweeping $12 billion contract to modernize its IT systems. The request for information involves the VA's Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation contract that's set to run through June 2016.
Hewlett-Packard agreed to pay $32.5 million to the Postal Service to resolve allegations that the company overcharged USPS for products over 9 years. The Justice Department says HP violated the False Claims Act--the federal law holds accountable contractors who defraud governmental programs--by overcharging USPS between October 2001 and December 2010.
Contractors will have to report any labor law violations to federal agencies under an executive order sign by President Obama July 31. Contractors will need to disclose any labor law violations from the past three years before a contract can be awarded them. Violations include family and medical leave, collective bargaining and wages.
A government contracting group made recommendations to speed the procurement process and better train the acquisition workforce in a July 28 report. "While these recommendations will not fix the entire acquisition system on their own, if adopted, they will serve as an important step in righting the ship," said Professional Services Council President and CEO Stan Soloway.
The General Services Administration launched a program to make it cheaper for agencies to purchase maintenance, repairs and operations products, a July 17 GSA statement says. GSA issued the notice to proceed on its MRO strategic sourcing Blanket Purchase Agreement, which the agency says will save agencies money on commonly purchased maintenance products such as hardware, tools, paints, adhesives and sealants, the statement says.
Myriad challenges face Defense Department acquisition and many of them have been exacerbated budget cuts and pay freezes, DoD officials told a House panel July 10. "The fiscal challenges, shifting operational requirements, the current budget instability deriving from sequestration, years of pay freezes, furloughs, military end-strength reductions and the requirement for commensurate reductions in our civilian workforce, more than a decade of conflict--inevitably all of these things have affected the acquisition workforce," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Stephanie Barna at the hearing.
QuickPay requires agencies to pay small businesses with federal government contracts within 15 days of receiving an invoice, rather than the normal 30-day period, the statement says.
The Defense Department overpaid about $9 million for spare parts for the Bell Helicopter Textron, the department inspector general says in a July 7 report. "This occurred because the contracting officer did not perform an adequate analysis when procuring sole-source commercial parts," the IG says.