GAO denies Recruitment One-Stop appeal

GAO denies Recruitment One-Stop appeal

The General Accounting Office has pushed the Office of Personnel Management closer to recompeting at least part of the Recruitment One-Stop contract'one of the 25 Quicksilver e-government projects.

The audit agency late last month denied OPM's appeal for reconsideration after GAO determined the award to TMP Worldwide Government Services of New York for revamping www.usajobs.opm.gov was improper.

'We looked at the issues OPM raised and declined to modify our decision,' said Sharon Larkin, GAO's attorney.

Symplicity Corp. of Arlington, Va., protested the award, and GAO recently ruled in its favor. The audit agency said OPM should re-evaluate all bids to determine whether the proposed services are within the scope of the winning company's schedule contract. GAO also recommended that OPM reopen discussions with all bidders in the competitive range and re-evaluate their revised offers.

OPM argued that TMP modified its General Services Administration's Federal Supply Service schedule contract to include the two labor categories that GAO said were an issue. Because these two labor categories were added to TMP's schedule, OPM said, it made GAO's decision moot.

GAO disagreed, saying 'the agency's failure to consider whether the two labor categories were on TMP's schedule contract was a symptom of a larger evaluation flaw, namely that the agency failed to perform any analysis of whether TMP's proposed services, labor categories or other direct costs were within the scope of TMP's contract.'

GAO said TMP's modification does not address whether OPM evaluated the vendors' services included in their Federal Supply Service contracts.

'The fact that one vendor, TMP, has been permitted to make a change affecting the acceptability of its quotation only underscores the need to treat competing vendors comparably,' GAO said in its decision. 'Thus, OPM has provided no basis to modify our recommendation.'

'We have just received the decision, and we are reviewing it,' a senior OPM official said. 'We are now assessing our options.'

OPM in January awarded a five-year contract to TMP Worldwide, the company that runs Monster.com. Officials said the contract could be extended to 2013 through option years. The potential value would be $62 million over 10 years.

(Posted May 30, 2003 - Updated 4:29 p.m. June 2, 2003)

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