Letters to the editor

Following are responses to an FCW.com poll question that asked: Do you support limiting the Defense Department's ability to buy services through the General Services Administration schedule?

Absolutely not. General Services Administration schedules are value added. As an information technology project leader, the ability to procure specific IT services quickly is critical to keeping on mission.

Having to "compete" the old way, i.e. advertise in the Commerce Business Daily and use requests for proposals or invitations for bids to procure services just ties your hands, delays your project and results in wasted time and money on the part of vendors and government. Vendors and the government and the taxpayer benefit from the ability to obtain services fast.

Name withheld by request

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Labor-hour contacts for activities such as programming and maintaining a software system are an abuse of the contracting system. Nobody knows how to tell when the job is done. These people become almost like government employees (especially in the eyes of some government supervisiors). So much so that they may stay for years and managers may take precautions to ensure that some government employee has the knowledge to take over should the contractor go bankrupt.

I recently heard a contractor represent himself as "the official representative of the U.S. government" there to "protect the best interests of the U.S. government," even though any thinking person knows that a contractor will and must put the interests of his firm first.

Name withheld by request

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