The Veterans Affairs Department doesn't know how much it's spending on consulting services and the Government Accountability Office couldn't find the data to tell the agency, a July 30 GAO report (.pdf) says.
A new rule set to go into effect Aug. 15 directs prime contractors to notify contracting officers if they don't use small business subcontractors that were integral to producing a bid proposal. The rule (.pdf) goes into effect Aug. 15.
Federal agencies should utilize the General Services Administration more when procuring commercial items, urged Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Tom Sharpe. Not using GSA as a centralizing procurement source is a "behavioral issue," Sharpe said.
Through their DPA authority, agencies can require private companies to prioritize government contracts over their other obligations, for the sake of national security or emergency response. The law, originally enacted in 1950, is set to expire in December 2014.
Congress could promote strategic sourcing by setting goals in legislation that would hold agencies accountable for their use of it, Cristina Chaplain of the Government Accountability Office said July 15. Those who achieve savings might see their budgets cut the next year, Chaplain said.
The first annual Defense Department acquisition report showed there was no statistical correlation between the use of contract type and lower cost or schedule growth. Between 1970 and 2011, fixed-price contracts did not exhibit a significantly different cost growth than cost-reimbursable contracts, the June 28 report (.pdf) says.
Veteran employment call centers were so overstaffed that the average employee handled 2.4 calls per day over the course of 13 months, according to an analysis from the Veterans Affairs office of inspector general. By December 2012, the calls per day per employee fell to 1.4.
A new rule that goes into effect Aug. 27 implementing a "presumption of loss" of the entire dollar value of any contract given to small businesses that misrepresent their status. The rule is likely to be an incentive for the Justice Department or whistleblowers to file False Claim Act lawsuits.
The federal government fell slightly short of its goal of awarding 23 percent of prime contracting dollars to small businesses, the Small Business Administration says in a July 2 report (.pdf).
Significant problems with contract administration and project management adversely impacted the Energy Department's ability to manage the many issues confronting its multi-billion dollar environmental cleanup effort, Energy Department Inspector General Gregory Friedman told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee on financial and contracting oversight in a June 27 hearing.