GSA schedule spending on rise

Federal spending through General Services Administration schedule contracts increased 24 percentage points from 1997 to 2002, according to federal market research firm Input Inc.

Erik TerHaar, manager of federal market development services at Input, said the increased spending on the multiple-award contracts is coming at the expense of full and open competitions. If the rate of change continues, TerHaar predicts schedule spending will be close to even with full and open contracts within two years.

The study showed spending through full competition decreased from 57 percent to 41 percent of total procurement dollars in the five-year period, while schedule spending rose from 7 percent to 31 percent.

The Defense Department has been generally slower to move to the schedule contracts, the report shows, but it too is making more use of them.

The report did not specify the dollar amounts spent via various contracting methods.

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