Review finds more GSA contracting problems

The ongoing saga of contracting troubles at the General Services Administration's regional offices took another turn for the worse when a private-sector evaluation found 84 percent of contracts in the National Capital Region either were drawn inadequately or seriously inadequate.

Acquisition Solutions Inc. of Chantilly, Va., last October began reviewing 260 contracts and found 51 of them, or 20 percent, had policy, regulatory or legal issues and lacked competition or price justification. Of the capital region contracts, auditors rated 167 as inadequate, meaning there was little evidence of fair and reasonable pricing or competition.

Only 42 contracts met or exceeded the minimum regulatory requirements, and Acquisition Solutions considered none of them exemplary.

National Capital Region Administrator Donald Williams hired Acquisition Solutions last year to uncover contracting issues, GSA spokeswoman Mary Alice Johnson said. She said Williams has given GSA's inspector general a copy of the findings, which will be part of an IG examination of the regional offices this summer.

A harsh IG report in January said three GSA regions covering 23 states were working under ineffective management controls and failed to promote adequate competition.

The worst problems centered on competition and reasonable pricing, the report said. Only one proposal was received for 103 of the 151 deals open to full competition through Federal Supply Service schedules, and GSA contracting officers gave vendors only 10 days or less to respond on 76 of those contracts, the auditors found.

Jason Miller writes for Government Computer News magazine.

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