GSA policy gets it wrong, trade group says

A new program intended to ensure that federal IT contracts are used properly would unfairly penalize contractors, says the president of ITAA.

A new program intended to ensure that federal information technology contracts are being used properly would unfairly penalize contractors, said Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America.

Miller raised objections to the program, called Get It Right, in a letter today to General Services Administration Administrator Stephen Perry. The letter describes the program but does not identify it by name.

Get It Right, a joint effort between GSA and the Defense Department, adds additional layers of contract review to the contracting process. The government retains much of the burden, but contractors are asked to report when they are asked to do work that falls outside the contract's scope.

Although it is entirely proper to review contracts and ensure that they are properly constructed, contractors should not be faulted if they are not, Miller wrote.

Citing past legal rulings, Miller wrote, "It is neither unreasonable nor inappropriate that a contractor would take a contracting officer's issuance of a task or delivery order as evidence that the government has determined the order to be proper, including properly within the scope of the underlying contract. There is and has been no reason for the contractor to perform its own analysis of the issue -- the contracting officer's decision is final and binding as a matter of law."

Federal officials undertook the program after several high-profile instances of IT funds being used for activities that seemed to have no connection to IT surfaced.

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