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 contractor who runs the federal government-owned Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center was selected through favoritism and subsequently mismanaged the building, a June 17 General Services Administration inspector general report says.
The Postal Service hasn't been able to implement its plans to replace its aging fleet of vehicles because of budget constraints, a June 10 USPS inspector general report says. USPS developed a short-term plan in 2011 that included acquiring 25,000 vehicles costing about $500 million to meet operational needs and replace some of the aging fleet. The long-term plan included purchasing a new fleet of updated delivery vehicles starting in fiscal 2017.
The General Services Administration won't extend the second iteration of the Office Supplies strategic sourcing initiative even though the third version isn't off the ground yet. The Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative Second Generation Office Supplies blanket purchase agreements were set to expire on May 31.
The Navy Department's Superior Supplier Incentive Program, a pilot program launched as part of the Defense Department's Better Buying Power initiative, will be adopted broadly across the department, said a top DoD official.
The General Services Administration plans to ask contractors on the Multiple Awards Schedule to standardize part number to reduce the variability of prices at the contracting level, a June 12 GSA blog post says. GSA is also working with services contractors to figure out a better approach to standardizing labor categories for services, the blog post says.
The Government Accountability Office recently denied bid protests for the Office Supplies 3 strategic sourcing contract, but that doesn't mean its clearing sailing for the General Services Administration.
The Office of Management and Budget wants agencies to have greater transparency into contractors' past performance before they sign on the dotted line. "We are a couple of weeks from issuing additional guidance that broadens the sources of past performance information," said Lesley Field, acting administrator of OMB's Office of Federal Procurement Policy.