Sade: Agencies need input

If Mike Sade had his way at the Commerce Department, no contract would be awarded without discussion between the vendors and the agency.

Sade, Commerce's procurement executive and the chairman of the Procurement Executive Council, which is changing its name to the Federal Acquisition Council, said he is looking into adding a clause to his agency's procurement regulations that would prohibit an award without discussions.

"We are so intent on rushing to award that we end up using time and materials contracts because the agency doesn't know what they want," said Sade, who spoke April 9 at FOSE. "We also need to do a better job of looking at what is out there before we put together a contract. I would say any contract worth more than $5 million, we need to do more market research."

Many of these pitfalls program managers fall into come from an over-reliance on the General Services Administration's schedules, Sade said. He noted a recent analysis by Federal Sources Inc. of McLean, Va. that found about 50 percent of all agency purchases of more than $5 million go through a schedule.

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