Rep. Davis lays out IT oversight program

Rep. Davis lays out IT oversight program

By Thomas R. Temin

GCN Staff

APRIL 18—If your agency plans to outsource, use a Metropolitan Area Acquisition for telecommunications, try seat management, buy products using the Federal Supply Service schedule contracts, acquire services or do an electronic government initiative, you might soon hear from the General Accounting Office.

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy of the House Committee on Government Reform, has asked GAO to investigate all of these activities and plans a busy schedule of hearings on them.

Davis' staff director, Melissa Wojciak, outlined the subcommittee's ambitious oversight plan during a breakfast meeting of the Bethesda, Md., chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association this morning. She added that Davis is putting together a legislative package to address agencies' seeming reluctance to pursue share-in-savings contracts and use of commercial best practices.

According to Wojciak, Davis has requested three GAO audits on information technology acquisition subjects:

  • The General Services Administration's FTS 2001 telecommunications program, and in particular the MAAs, to see if agencies signing on to the local area contracts are benefiting from local competition. The subcommittee has scheduled a June 13 hearing on MAAs.

  • Seat management, to find out why some agencies are successful in outsourcing their computing infrastructures and writing performance-based statements of work, and why some are struggling

  • GSA multiple-award contracts, to see if there are redundancies among the buying vehicles of the Federal Technology Service and the Federal Supply Service.

Davis' subcommittee also will hold hearings on outsourcing and privatization. Wojciak said Davis is particularly concerned about HR 721, the Truthfulness, Responsibility, and Accountability in Contracting Act. The bill, introduced by Rep. Albert Wynn (D-Md.) with 112 sponsors, would temporarily suspend all services contracting until elaborate reporting systems are in place.

The Wynn bill states that ceilings on the federal workforce are 'forcing agencies to give work to private contractors without any public-private competition, often at higher costs.'

Davis' subcommittee has scheduled hearings on services acquisition and outsourcing for May 22 and June 27.


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