Review finds more GSA contracting problems

Review finds more GSA contracting problems

The ongoing saga of contracting troubles at the General Services Administration Federal Technology Services' regional offices took another turn for the worse when a private-sector evaluation found 84 percent of contracts in the National Capital Region were either inadequately drawn up or seriously inadequate.

Acquisition Solutions Inc. of Chantilly, Va., last October began reviewing 260 contracts and found 51 of them'20 percent'had policy, regulatory or legal issues, and lacked competition or price justification. Most of the capital region contracts, 167, got an inadequate rating from the auditors, meaning little evidence of fair and reasonable pricing or competition.

Only 42 contracts met or exceeded the minimum regulatory requirements, and Acquisition Solutions considered none of them exemplary.

National Capital Region administrator Donald Williams hired Acquisition Solutions last year to uncover existing contracting issues, GSA spokeswoman Mary Alice Johnson said. She said Williams has given GSA's inspector general a copy of the findings, which will be part of an IG examination of the regional offices this summer.

A harsh IG report in January said three GSA regions covering 23 states were working under ineffective management controls and failed to promote adequate competition. Click here for GCN's Jan. 26 coverage.

The worst problems centered on competition and reasonable pricing, the report said. Only one proposal was received for 103 of the 151 deals open to full competition through Federal Supply Service schedules, and GSA contracting officers gave vendors only 10 days or less to respond on 76 of those contracts, the auditors found.

"We sought to examine FTS contracting operations with the strictest scrutiny possible," said Johnson. "This study did that. The purpose was to find any problems that might exist so that we could remedy them and ensure that we have the best contracting operations possible to serve our customers. Where problems have been identified, they will be remedied."

(Posted 12:22 p.m. and updated 3:54 p.m.)

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