DOD expanding Get It Right to other agencies

DOD expanding Get It Right to other agencies

The Defense Department isn't only worried about the General Services Administration's contracting practices; it wants to make sure all the other agencies its contracting officers do business with are getting it right.

Deidre Lee, director of Defense procurement, said yesterday that she has met with many of the agencies assisting DOD departments in buying products and services and is requiring them to 'provide some assurances' that their contracting practices are following federal laws and regulations, much as GSA is now doing.

'We will ask these assisting agencies to provide the same information and assurance GSA has granted us,' Lee said, speaking at Input's Fed Focus 2005 conference in Washington. 'We will ask them to make sure people do what needs to be done, people focus on competition and whether they are putting in right DOD terms and conditions.'

GSA and DOD launched the Get It Right campaign in July after contracting problems surfaced at both agencies. The campaign, in part, was created to convince lawmakers that agency officials have fixed the problems and does not need Congress to place stringent controls over either agency.

DOD is also working with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and GSA to develop a list of all assisting agencies. The list would include the types of services provided, the fee rate and some generic provisions for contracting officers, Lee said.

'DOD's decision to meet with the other assisting agencies is a recognition that what happened at GSA can happen anywhere,' said Karl Reichelt, GSA's chief of staff and acting chief acquisition officer. 'We can apply the lessons we learned governmentwide so we do a better job of contracting.'

Reichelt said DOD should work closely with other agencies to make sure Get It Right becomes a part of the standard business processes.

GSA's inspector general is finalizing the report on all the Federal Technology Service's regional offices and will re-evaluate the offices again in fiscal 2005, Reichelt said.

'We want to make sure everything we have put in place has occurred to straighten out the procurement system,' he said. 'My focus is on certifying to Congress by March 15 that DOD and GSA IGs have faith in the procurement systems.'

Congress withdrew provisions that would have severely limited DOD's use of GSA governmentwide acquisition contracts and procurement services. Reichelt said if the IGs do not come back with a clean audit, lawmakers will put stricter limits in place. In fact, in the National Defense Authorization Bill of 2005, Congress included a provision that would require DOD contracting personnel to receive approval for all purchases from FTS over $100,000 if the evaluations are not good.

'We've changed the culture at GSA from one of revenue to one of compliance and ethics,' Reichelt said. 'When an agency is put on the brink of nonexistence, you have to pay attention.'


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