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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Industry group urges communications, quick end to contract freeze at EPA

The Professional Services Council has sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency voicing concerns about the freezing of new contracts and grants.

[[[Since posting this blog, WT has learned that EPA has completed its review. See our story here.]]]

The agency has suspended new contract awards and grants while the new administration reviews them. The move potentially will impact billions in contract awards and grants.

The letter to acting EPA administrator Catherine McCabe criticizes the action as too “blunt” and disruptive.

“There may be good reasons for these steps, to align with the priorities of the new administration or to prevent scarce taxpayer dollars from going to initiatives that will not be continued,” PSC president and CEO David Berteau wrote. “However, a blunt, across the board halt on contracting actions will disrupt core government operations, drive away hard-to-find workers, and may cost more to restart than it saves by stopping.”

Berteau also talked about the financial impact on government contractors. “Many companies depend on payments to stay in business. The EPA should be mindful of the adverse economic impact this will have on the business community,” he wrote.

In an earlier blog post, I outlined some of the top contractors serving EPA as well as some of the large contract opportunities that are now in limbo.

From the letter, it also sounds like PSC and its members are having the same lack of success the media is having with getting EPA to clarify what this suspension means. The letter refers to reports but not specific communications from EPA.

The letter mentions reports of halted payments for work already done. "If these reports are accurate, they raise serious concerns," Berteau wrote.

Berteau urged EPA to share as much information as possible publicly. He specifically mentioned information on the goals of the suspensions and plans for implementing suspensions. Information on EPA plans, especially during a time of change, are critical for the companies that support EPA.

He also emphasized PSC willingness to work with the agency, Congress and the White House.

PSC also sent copies of the letter to Lesley Field, acting administrator at the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Donna Vizian, acting assistant administrator at EPA’s Office of Administration and Resources Management, and Kimberly Patrick, director of EPA’s Office Acquisition Management.

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

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