GAO targets telecom task orders

Report: GSA Needs to Improve Process for Awarding Task Orders for Local Service

The General Services Administration needs to develop a consistent process for ensuring vendors have a fair opportunity to be considered for task orders under the Metropolitan Area Acquisition (MAA) program, according to the General Accounting Office.

In at least six cases, the contracting agency's preference was used as a criterion for selecting the contractor, a violation of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, according to a new GAO report.

The MAA system governs the procurement of local telecommunications services in 25 cities. Fifteen of the MAA cities have two or more providers under contract, and GSA is supposed to give all the providers a fair chance to get work under the contract.

However, the report shows that GSA has not developed a uniform process for its field offices to use. In 483 fair consideration decisions that GAO examined, the documentation for 91 cases, or 19 percent, was inadequate to determine how the sourcing decision was reached, the report stated.

The GAO recommends that GSA establish and follow a uniform process for fair consideration, and establish uniform guidelines for documenting fair consideration provisions.

In his response, GSA Administrator Stephen Perry said he largely agreed with GAO's findings and pledged to follow the recommendations.

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