The Transportation Department lacks the data to properly determine acquisition workforce needs and goals for its operating administrations, which spent more than $5.6 billion on procurement in fiscal 2011, says the Government Accountability Office.
Federal agencies prefer private sector competitors to the Postal Service, sending the USPS only 2 percent of their General Services Administration shipping schedule-based business, says the service's office of inspector general. One major challenge for the Postal Service is its high price and limited offering of 2-day and 3-day guaranteed express delivery products.
The government contracting experiment, RFP-EZ, is up and running with four small business opportunities available for bidding.On Jan. 17, Presidential Innovation Fellows and the SBA announced a new website for an RFP-EZ pilot, which has the goal of simplifying the government contracting process and specifically extending access to small businesses for more low-dollar opportunities.
Before the Veterans Affairs Department's program to verify service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses could expand governmentwide, the VA would have to address a slew of issues it faces verifying its own contractors, the Government Accountability Office says. Auditors say VA's struggles come down to a tension between competing goals: creating opportunities for veterans and preventing fraud.
Two likely areas of consolidated federal agency purchasing are janitorial and sanitation supplies, and maintenance, repair, and operations supplies; Tangherlini said teams have already formed and met to look at how spending in those areas could be consolidated. Other areas of targeted consolidation include wireless services and software , he added.
Fees collected from the General Services Administration schedules program could fund new programs and offset losses elsewhere if the Industrial Funding Fee were opened up for broader uses, says the General Services Administration.The changes are part of the GSA Acquisition Manual rewrite project, under which the agency says all parts of the regulation are under review.
Agencies now have the chance to try a new request for proposal tool focused on web technology services from small business through a pilot being run by the Small Business Administration. The pilot will run from Dec. 28. 2012 to May 1, 2013.
A majority of senior Coast Guard officials -- 22 of 39 admirals and Senior Executive Service officials leaving the agency from 2006 to 2010 -- moved on to work with contractors doing business with the Coast Guard, finds a General Accountability Office review. In 2011, 12 of those 22 received compensation from contractors that received more than $10 million in obligations from the Coast Guard that year, the GAO says.
To close out more contracts, the Defense Contract Audit Agency has begun to focus on high-risk contracts, but it has yet to assess whether the way it determines risk actually works, the Government Accountability Office says. The DCAA had a backlog of 25,000 contract audits as of the end of fiscal 2011.
A federal acquisition community still brittle from past austerity measures faces the prospect of new cuts with inadequately trained new staff and a risk-averse culture that proscribes innovation, warns an analysis based on qualitative surveys of federal personnel.