OFPP interagency contracting working group to meet

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy's new working group for improving the management and use of interagency contracts will hold its first meeting next month.

In a recent memorandum to agency chief acquisition officers, OFPP associate administrator Robert Burton said the Interagency Acquisition Working Group will meet Dec. 9 at the White House.

OFPP established its working group after the Government Accountability Office added interagency contracting to its high-risk list earlier this year.

In adding interagency contract management to the list, GAO concluded that the fee-for-service arrangement creates an incentive to increase sales volume in order to support other agency programs and that agencies need to clarify who holds the responsibility of describing requirements, negotiating terms and conducting oversight.

The working group'consisting of agencies that operate governmentwide acquisition contracts and multiple-award schedules, as well as agencies that are large customers of these contracts'will determine whether further guidance on interagency contracting is needed and clarify the roles and responsibilities of agencies as to who should negotiate the terms and conduct contract oversight.

'Our continued ability to take full advantage of interagency contracts requires increased attention by agencies that manage these contracts and agencies that rely on them to meet mission requirements,' Burton wrote. 'We must ensure these contracts are used properly and in a strategic manner.'

In the future, the group will consider how to improve the governance structure for creating and renewing interagency contracts, Burton said.

The Commerce, Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Treasury and Veterans Affairs departments, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, NASA, and the Small Business Administration have been asked to participate in the group, Burton said.

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