Sen. Levin concerned about MOLs

Concerned that changes in regulations guiding the General Services Administration's multiple-award schedule program have reduced free and open competition Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) sent letters to four agencies last month requesting information on the extent to which they make large purchases from the schedules.

Levin a member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee is most concerned about how GSA's removal of maximum order limitations (MOLs) have affected agencies' procurements. "The major concern is really the large procurements especially since this [MAS] procedure was established for simplified acquisitions " said committee staff member Gale Perkins.

Levin sent identical letters to Paul Kaminski undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and technology Scott Gould former deputy assistant secretary for departmental finance and management at the Treasury Department Kenneth Buck director of acquisition management at the Commerce Department and Richard Hopf deputy assistant secretary for procurement and assistance management at the Energy Department.

Deadline Extensions

Responses to the letters were due May 29 but Perkins said none of the agencies had responded as of the middle of last week. She said she contacted the agencies and agreed to extend the deadlines but had not yet determined how much more time would be needed.

Noting that his committee holds jurisdiction over federal procurement policy Levin asked the four officials to provide the information "to ensure consistent implementation of this new [maximum order] provision."He asked for a copy of each agency's policy for placing schedule orders in light of the elimination of MOLs the number of orders placed by the agency exceeding $5 million the value of each of those orders and the products purchased and the command or component that placed the order.

"This is just routine oversight " Perkins said. "There was nothing that initiated this other than the policy change. Sen. Levin just wants to find out what agencies are doing."

The four officials who received the letters were not available last week to comment on Levin's concerns and their responses to his queries. A source at Commerce said Buck's office sent a response to Levin late last week.Olga Grkavac vice president of the Systems Integration Division at the Information Technology Association of America said she was aware of Levin's investigation and hoped to meet with the senator to discuss his findings and offer assistance.

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