Rep. Davis sics GAO on procurement

Rep. Davis sics GAO on procurement

BY THOMAS R. TEMIN | GCN STAFF

If your agency plans to outsource, use a Metropolitan Area Acquisition for telecommunications, try seat management, buy products using schedule contracts or launch an electronic-government initiative, expect a visit from the General Accounting Office.

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

Melissa Wojciak, Davis' staff director, recently outlined the subcommittee's ambitious oversight plans. She said that Davis is putting together a legislative package to push agencies to pursue share-in-savings contracts and use commercial best practices.

The congressman, Wojciak said, has requested three GAO audits on information technology acquisitions:


  • A review of the General Services Administration's FTS 2001 program and in particular the MAAs. He wants to know if agencies signing on to the local-service contracts are benefiting from local competition. The subcommittee has scheduled a June 13 hearing.


  • A study of seat management. Davis asked GAO to find out why some agencies succeed at outsourcing their IT infrastructures and writing performance-based statements of work and why some don't.


  • An audit of GSA's Multiple-Award Schedule program. Specifically, the congressman wants to see whether there are redundancies among the buying vehicles provided by the Federal Technology Service and the Federal Supply Service.



Forced outsourcing?

Davis' subcommittee also will hold hearings on outsourcing and privatization. Davis has expressed concern about HR 721, the Truthfulness, Responsibility and Accountability in Contracting Act, Wojciak said. The bill, introduced by Rep. Albert Wynn (D-Md.), has garnered 125 sponsors. It would temporarily suspend all services contracts until a reporting system is in place.

Davis said this month the bill will likely die an early death and won't survive a review by his subcommittee. 'I just don't see it getting government any better value,' he said at the Federal Outlook 2002 conference in McLean, Va.

The subcommittee has scheduled hearings on services acquisitions later this month and an outsourcing hearing on June 28.

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