There's no blanket over BPAs, SPAWAR's chief says

There's no blanket over BPAs, SPAWAR's chief says

Rear Adm. John A. Gauss says false reports of a halt to BPAs surfaced after he issued a purchasing directive last month.

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

Contrary to reports, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center has not put a temporary halt to blanket purchasing agreements, its commander said.

'There is not, nor has there been, a hold placed on BPAs,' said Rear Adm. John A. Gauss, SPAWAR's commander in San Diego. Some federal officials want to ensure that sizable delivery orders are competed when sole-source procurements are easier to do through BPAs, which are negotiated from vendors' General Services Administration Information Technology Schedule contracts.

What Gauss considers erroneous reports started appearing after he issued a directive early last month requiring his approval of all purchases from non-Defense Department contracts.

The directive has not slowed down contracting procedures, he said. Within a week of making the order, Gauss had delegated much of the approval process to his staff and authorized officials in the field, he said. 'At most, I've added one day to the [contracting] process. It involves filling out a form' and going through a review process, Gauss said.

'In some places, we need checks and balances' to govern the flow of contracting money from SPAWAR headquarters to industry, Gauss said. 'That's all I've done'put checks and balances' into the process, he said.

SPAWAR headquarters and its three systems centers spend as much as $45 million each year on computers, e-mail systems, telephones and videoconferencing, Gauss said. The Navy's Information Technology Umbrella Program also issues BPAs that federal agencies can use.

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