Acquisition reform gets through conference

The Services Acquisition Reform Act has survived the conference process largely intact, sponsor Rep. Thomas Davis (R.-Va.) says.

SARA, which would change the acquisition structure in many agencies, had been added to the Defense Authorization bill after passing the House Government Reform Committee, which Davis chairs.

"This is a huge win for fans of good government," he said in a statement. "While procurement reform may not be the sexiest issue before Congress, improving the way we acquire goods and services can help make the government leaner, meaner, more responsible and more accountable to taxpayers."

Davis previously tried to pass similar legislation, but it faltered. SARA builds on acquisition reforms of the 1990s, he said.

"We have not kept pace with the dynamics of an economy that has become, over the last few years, increasingly service- and technology-oriented," Davis said. "Without change, the current system cannot support the president's vision — expressed in his management agenda — of a government that is well-run, results-oriented, citizen-centered and market-based."

SARA will:

* Establish a civilian acquisition workforce training fund within the General Services Administration.

* Provide for the appointment of a noncareer chief acquisition officer in each agency who will serve as a high-level point person for acquisition activities.

* Provide for the establishment of a Chief Acquisition Officers Council to monitor and improve the federal acquisition system.

* Establish a governmentwide preference for the use of performance-based service contracts by treating certain service contracts less than $25,000 as contracts for commercial items.

This will authorize the use of simplified procedures for the award of performance-based service contracts and apply to them existing waivers of requirements and certifications.

* Provide for special streamlined procedures, based upon flexibilities in current law; for the procurement of property or services when the head of the agency determines the property or services are in support of a contingency operation; or to facilitate defense against or recovery from nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.