Pentagon to get GSA push

Defense agencies, reluctant to use General Services Administration services and contracts following revelations last year that some GSA personnel had ignored contracting rules, are about to get a firm push back to the procurement agency.

Bill Gormley, president of Federal Sources, said that Deidre Lee, director of procurement and acquisition policy at the Defense Department, will soon send a letter to DOD contracting officers making clear that they are welcome to use GSA offerings.

Gormley spoke at an FSI breakfast event today that focused on contracting opportunities for veterans.

Larry Allen, executive vice president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, said that he submitted a draft letter to Lee. He expects her to issue a final version when she returns from some time out of the office in June.

The concern developed following an Oct. 29 memo in which military procurement officials were told to justify using non-DOD contracts, Allen said. "That was interpreted to mean don’t use GSA," even though no such instruction was spelled out in the memo, he said.

The matter has hurt some small companies that need business from DOD. Some who attended the event today said that military contracting officers had refused to work with them through their GSA schedules and other GSA contracts.

"A lot of my customers flat do not want to do business with GSA," one business owner said. DOD officials believe they've been told not to use GSA contracts, he said.

Allen said he believes Lee will issue the letter soon. "It's clear this is a high priority," he said.

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