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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Thaw begins at EPA for contracts, grants

According to emails that Environmental Protection Agency officials are sending out, the agency and the Trump administration have completed review of contracts and grants, and most are moving forward.

While EPA has not made an official public statement, on Monday there were numerous reports that it had frozen new contracts and grants.

The agency looked at contracts on a 30-day horizon and found very few that needed further clarification, according to an email Washington Technology obtained.

Contracts supporting IT, facilities and systems are moving forward, the email said. Contracts supporting core programs and science also are no longer suspended.

EPA also is planning a call with the contracting community to answer questions. Kimberly Patrick, director of EPA’s Office of Acquisition Management, will lead the call with industry.

As with my other calls to EPA’s public affairs office, I’m still being unsuccessful in getting an official comment back from the agency.

The companies I’ve reached out to as well are reluctant to talk beyond statements that they are there to support their customer.

The Professional Services Council last night released a letter to EPA’s acting administrator urging better communications with industry as well as an early end to the suspension.

I’m still curious what the 30-day horizon means. I’m assuming that is just for contracts or task orders set to be awarded in the next 30 days. So, I wonder if that means more reviews are in the works.

On the grants side of things – which we really don’t cover – EPA and the new administration looked at 88 programs and found that 11 needed clarifications. These grant programs only account for 3 percent of grant spending.

Next on my agenda is learning more about what Patrick has to say to industry and how things are going to move forward.

I wonder, too, how much of a pattern this sets for other agencies, though I do think because of EPA’s mission, Trump's campaign promises and the early executive action, EPA is in for more scrutiny than most.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jan 26, 2017 at 9:37 AM

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