Agencies bypass FTS in favor of GWAC vendors

Agencies are taking advantage of a rule that lets them order directly from the General Services Administration's governmentwide acquisition contracts instead of going through the Federal Technology Service.

Neal Fox, assistant commissioner in the Office of Commercial Acquisition at GSA's Federal Supply Service, said last week that agencies have used the direct-order authority on more than 25 percent of orders off the multiple-award contracts. In the past, about 95 percent of orders went through FTS' acquisition office.

'Direct ordering helps customers because FTS cannot handle all of the orders that come through,' Fox said during a discussion of FSS sponsored by the Industry Advisory Council of Fairfax, Va. 'There is a class of customers that didn't need FTS services, and the direct-order authority meets their needs.'

Fox said contracting officers must be trained to properly use GWACs before they can order directly. FSS established this process after it took over the management of these contracts in 2003

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