Letter: Get facts straight about companies leaving GSA schedules

Clashes between the audit and contracting groups are to blame for the departures of Canon, EMC and Sun.

A couple of facts in “Canon, EMC drop out of GSA schedules” are inaccurate:


  • Canon’s initial offer was submitted in April all right, but April of 2006. The General Services Administration called for the first meeting in September 2007, 17 months later. (Asinine in itself.)

  • It was the Canon FSC Group 36 contract that expired at the end of October (and when Canon walked). The 70 contract you mentioned does not expire until the end of this month.

  • GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule Group is pretty much dysfunctional now, basically because of an inspector general group that is behaving worse than drunken thugs. There are several other companies that are being harassed and pounded with totally unreasonable demands no company can meet, so the company exodus is not over. More might walk.


3M, CACI and Ricoh -- just to name a few, there are many more -- have all had or are having similar issues involving unreasonable GSA demands and unreasonable behavior. 


The audit group refused to let the contracting group do its job and demanded to be in negotiations and/or on the phone when negotiations took place, and then it proceeded to run the negotiations. The contracting folks are paralyzed with fear of the auditors, who apparently marched into GSA earlier this year and met with many of the contracting people and explained to them that they, the contracting group members, were weak, useless and obviously couldn't perform their jobs well.


 This all goes to the fight between GSA Administrator Lurita Doan and the GSA IG/Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). The companies – Sun Microsystems, Canon, EMC -- are all caught in the middle, and the government customer and taxpayers are the ones who suffer.


The whole thing -- starting with Sun -- is disgusting and detrimental behavior on the part of the government IG organization.  


****


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