Davis sends letters to OMB, Treasury on TCE

Audit Report on TCE

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Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) chided Treasury Department officials for mishandling the Treasury Communications Enterprise acquisition in letters sent to Treasury Secretary John Snow and Office of Management and Budget Director Joshua Bolten.

Davis, who chairs the House Government Reform Committee, reiterated his longstanding criticism that TCE is a “stovepipe” program that fosters “duplicative administrative procurements.” In letters dated Feb. 16, he wrote that TCE was “poorly planned and executed from the start.”

His opinion concurs with the Treasury Department Inspector General’s Feb. 10 audit report on TCE. The IG’s report, titled “Treasury Communications Enterprise Procurement Was Poorly Planned, Executed, and Documented,” faulted Treasury officials for not considering all available options before awarding a contract, failing to analyze the bids rigorously against the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and not keeping proper documentation on the process.

Davis wrote that the report “confirms all of my negative assumptions about the TCE acquisition.”

In a separate statement released last week, Davis said, “I hate to say I told you so, but ... TCE is a disaster and ought to be abandoned.”

Treasury had awarded the TCE contract to AT&T, but losing companies successfully protested. Treasury officials had agreed, shortly before awarding the contract, to consider moving to Networx after the initial three-year base period. The companies that protested argued that their bids had been prepared on the assumption that the agency was likely to exercise option years and keep TCE in place for 10 years.

After the protests were upheld, Davis renewed his efforts to persuade Treasury to drop TCE altogether and make use of existing contracts. In January, Davis told reporters at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that he might try to end the contract’s funding.

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