GSA hopes to Get It Right

As part of an ongoing effort to prevent abuses of the federal procurement system, General Services Administration officials today launched "Get It Right," a comprehensive plan that will address all aspects of procurement.

GSA Administrator Stephen Perry shared the stage with Deidre Lee, director of procurement and acquisition policy at the Defense Department, in announcing the program. As GSA's largest customer, DOD officials played a role in developing Get It Right, and they have their own initiatives as well.

The program is the result of months of discussion regarding abuses at some field offices last year, in which officials with GSA's Federal Technology Service misused an information technology fund and improperly applied sole-source contracting authority, among other violations. Internal investigations are ongoing and may reveal additional problems, Perry noted.

"We have been at this for some time, but we still have a ways to go," he said, speaking of Get It Right.

The new program is intended to build better training and more accountability into procurement practices, he said. In turn, GSA officials will report on their progress to the Office of Management and Budget and to Congress.

"We're striving to have a zero-deficiency" record, he said. Compliance "is not optional. This is the way it must be done."

DOD officials have recently begun setting policies for the use of non-DOD contracts, including those that GSA offers, Lee said. She emphasized that the department is not limiting the use of such vehicles but will make sure they are used properly.

Perry said some GSA employees were fired because of the earlier abuses but declined to offer more details.

Specific aspects of Get It Right include:

Using tools and checklists to self-assess the proper use of GSA contracts.

Communicating information about the proper use of GSA funds within the agency.

Reviewing a sampling of orders placed against GSA contract vehicles to spot areas of noncompliance.

Keeping Congress and OMB up to date on progress.

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