Congress removes FTS restriction on military

Final version of the 2005 Defense Authorization Bill

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A proposal that would have made it difficult for the Defense Department to use the General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service was dropped from the 2005 Defense Authorization legislation.

The measure would have barred DOD officials from using non-DOD contracts that charge more than a 1 percent user fee. It would not have affected GSA schedule contracts, which charge a .75 percent fee. But the legislation would have made it nearly impossible for DOD officials to use FTS' procurement services.

DOD is the single largest customer of the Federal Technology Service.

However, the House and Senate added other checks on the military's relationship with GSA into the legislation, which is awaiting President Bush's signature.

It requires the inspectors general for DOD and GSA to conduct a joint review by March 15, 2005, to ensure that FTS' customer service centers nationwide are following military acquisition rules when making purchases for DOD. FTS has been under scrutiny since it was revealed that some agency employees had misused a dedicated information technology fund and broken other rules on behalf of DOD customers.

The legislation also extends DOD's authority to use streamlined acquisition procedures, authorized through Jan. 1, 2006, in the Clinger-Cohen Act, to Jan. 1, 2008.

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