Davis will reintroduce a services buying bill

Rep. Tom Davis expects that his Services Acquisition Reform Act will succeed in its second outing on Capitol Hill.

Not only is the Virginia Republican now chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, but the Bush administration has given the proposal a thumbs up, said David Marin, committee spokesman.

Davis plans to reintroduce SARA next week and hold a hearing April 30. The bill will be similar to the one Davis introduced last year that stalled in committee.

SARA would create a chief acquisition officer in every agency, increase the thresholds for government purchase cards and simplified acquisitions, and create a centralized acquisition work force training program funded by taking 5 percent of all fees collected by General Services Administration and other governmentwide acquisition contracts.

Davis plans to add language similar to his Freedom to Telecommute Act and making the Federal Emergency Procurement Flexibility Act permanent, Marin said.

The Freedom to Telecommute Act passed the House but died in the Senate last year. It requires the Office of Federal Procurement Policy to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to permit the use of telecommuting by employees of federal contractors.

The emergency procurement provision was included in the Homeland Security Act of 2002 but sunsets later this year. The stipulation increased the simplified acquisition limit to $200,000 for the purchase of goods or services to combat or recover from terrorism within the United States and $300,000 for purchases outside the country. It also increases the micro-purchase limit to $7,500 for government credit card buys.

"The goal of SARA is to put the tools needed to access the commercial service and technology market in the hands of a trained work force," Marin said, "that will have the discretion necessary to choose the best value for the government?and be held accountable for those choices."

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