Concerns Growing About GWAC Competition

Concerned with a lack of competition on governmentwide contracts, the Senate has added amendments to the Defense authorization bill that would restrict the Defense Department's use of contracts let by other agencies.

The amendments require the Pentagon to create a management process that would review and approve the use of non-Defense contracts. It also restricts the use of non-Defense contracts to contracts that are performance based.

The amendments are a sign there is growing concern in Congress that procurement reforms have gone too far and may need to be scaled back, said a staffer of Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.

The staffer the amendments likely will be scaled back when House and Senate members meet in conference committee to reconcile differences in the bill. The House version does not contain the amendments.

"There will probably be some mid-course correction," the staffer said. "But the result won't be something this strong."

Thompson will not be in the conference committee but he has made his objections to the amendments known, said the staffer, speaking at the annual Industry Advisory Council Executive Leadership Conference Oct. 15. IAC is an industry group that advises the government on technology issues and trends.

The House-Senate conference committee is meeting this week and next to hammer out a compromise authorization bill.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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