Acquisition & Procurement

Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

About 40 percent of DoD contracts in fiscal 2013 were noncompetitive

About 40 percent of all contracts awarded by the Defense Department in fiscal 2013 were through noncompetitive contracts, says an April 16 Government Accountability Office report. With those contracts, the DoD tends to bundle them under a class justifcation rather than justifying why there was no competition for each contract, the report says.

DoD memo shows acquisition officers need more training

Acquisition experts see a March 13 Defense Department memo directing its contracting officers to seek prices lower than the general schedule as redundant and as a sign that contracting officers aren't getting the training they need. The Federal Acquisition Regulation already says that contracting officers shall seek a price reduction when the order exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold of $150,000.

GSA plans new online purchasing information repository

The General Services Administration will create an online repository containing data on much agencies have paid for particular goods and services, an April 9 GSA blog post says. The GSA will develop the Common Acquisition Platform – an online platform to guide agencies through the total acquisition process, GSA's Federal Acquisition Service head Tom Sharpe said in the blog post.

OIG tallies $6B in missing, incomplete State Dept. contract files

Six years of audits and investigations by the State Department office of inspector general turned up $6 billion worth of contracts with missing or incomplete files. In a March 31  report  (pdf), the OIG says contract management is a major challenge for the department and "creates conditions conducive to fraud."

SBA says GSA failed to assess negative impact of OS3 on small businesses

The General Services Administration failed to assess the negative impact that the Office Supplies 3 strategic sourcing contract would have on small businesses, an April 3 Small Business Administration analysis says.

IG: BOP needs better approach to save money on goods and services

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has not gone far enough in cutting the costs of goods and services obtained through vendor contracts nor has it established a formal strategic sourcing program to help find potential savings, according to Justice Department auditors.

Agencies extended noncompetitive contracts past time limits, GAO says

Agencies are letting noncompetitive contracts awarded on the basis of "unusual and compelling urgency" run past the one year limit they're not meant to exceed.

Information technology price transparency could come at cost

Total governmentwide transparency on pricing for information technology products could have unintended consequences, said a senior acquisition official.

Federal government seeks to erase Y2K from buying regs

The federal government says it's time to cancel the Y2K compliance requirement it has obliged technology vendors to meet since before the turn of the century. "All of the issues addressing the transition to year 2000 compliance language have been resolved," acknowledges a proposed  rule. Federal agencies have been enjoined  by the FAR since 1997 from buying technology incapable of correctly rolling the date from Dec. 31, 1999 to Jan. 1, 2000.

DoD acquisition workforce learning the cheapest isn't always the best

Lowest price, technically acceptable contracts work when used correctly, but they shouldn't be used when the Defense Department is seeking innovation – a lesson the Pentagon's junior acquisition workforce is learning, said Assistant Defense Secretary for Acquisition Katrina McFarland.