Some Veterans Affairs contracts with non-VA medical providers didn't contain specific performance requirements and contracting officer representatives didn't have time to monitor the contracts due to other duties, an Oct. 31 Government Accountability Office report says.
Acquisition personnel at the Defense Department from management on down don't have the knowledge or incentives to do their jobs well, said Dov Zakheim, the department's former comptroller, on Oct. 29.
A House committee Tuesday passed by voice vote a bill that would reform the contractor suspension and debarment process across agencies. The bill (H.R. 3345), which was introduced by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) would consolidate more than 40 agency suspension and debarment offices in one central board.
A government employee who stepped into a contractor's role is among the targets of a report criticizing contracting practices at the Bureau of Land Management. The audit stemmed from the OIG's prior discovery that BLM had made payments for costs that exceeded the amount agreed to in a contract and also for costs that the contractor incurred outside the period of performance.
Lowest price technically acceptable procurements have been gaining favor among agencies, but that gives vendors less incentive to be innovative if the approach costs more, a an Oct. 24 Market Connections and Centurion Research study says. Under LPTA, agencies focus more on price than on past performance as long as the vendor meets minimal job requirements.
Top military officials told a House panel Wednesday that continued sequestration would make it impossible to plan for new acquisitions, and that maintenance will have to be differed on the current military fleet. If the mandatory budget cuts continue, the Air Force would have to delay purchasing four to five F-35 joint strike fighters from its requested amount of 19, Principal Deputy Assistant Air Force Secretary William LaPlante told the House Armed Services Committee subcommittee on tactical air and land forces in an Oct. 23 hearing.
Contractors and subcontractors can no longer receive reimbursement from the government for the costs of defending themselves against whistle-blower lawsuits deemed legitimate. The fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act called for the change.
The Veterans Affairs Department will decide all status protests for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses and not cede control to the Small Business Administration, a Sept. 31 interim rule says. The VA's director of the Center for Veterans Enterprise will initially adjudicate all SDVOSB and VOSB status protests, but those businesses can appeal to the VA's executive director of small and disadvantaged business utilization, the rule says.
If sequestration cuts continue, they could devastate military readiness and dramatically slow down modernization spending, an Oct. 11 Bipartisan Policy Center report says. The report says the full brunt of sequestration cuts hasn't hit yet, but sequestration cuts will compromise force readiness.
The federal strategic sourcing program advanced Oct. 9 with two solicitations from the General Services Administration for bulk purchases, one for janitorial supplies and the other for maintenance equipment. The two solicitations involve products that cost the government more than $1 billion annually, and GSA estimates that strategic sourcing will reduce their cost by 10-20 percent.