Doan 'elated' by SEWP decision

Reversing her previous stance, Lurita Doan, administrator of the General Services Administration, said today she was elated by the decision to allow NASA’s acquisition contract to continue.

In December, Paul Denett, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, granted NASA an extension to its Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement (SEWP) governmentwide acquisition contract. Originally opposed to it, Doan said she now considers his verdict a justified response to meeting a niche need in the federal marketplace. She changed her mind after reading Denett’s letter to NASA about the decision, she said in a speech at an American Council on Technology/Industry Advisory Council-sponsored small-business conference.

Her comments are an about-face from previous speeches. In September 2006, she said technology offered on the SEWP GWAC has become everyday technology that GSA could supply. There was no special niche for SEWP, and GSA could save agencies money by bringing the business to her agency, limiting the number of GWACs, she had said.

Today, however, she said Denett’s decision about SEWP showed he did not support GWAC duplication but recognized a market need.

“This is absolutely credible,” she said about his ruling. “The man gets it; Paul Denett did the right thing.”

SEWP IV, the latest installment of the contract, will last five years and has a ceiling of $6 billion, according to the Office of Management and Budget. SEWP IV will provide online tools and training to provide for agencies’ high-end solutions.

Denett said in a statement last month that NASA provides the federal scientific community with timely access to the high-end information technology product solutions they need at competitive prices and reasonable fees.

“It is clear that GSA is going to need to work harder to help the government understand how much taxpayer money is being wasted as a result of the wide proliferation of duplicative government contract vehicles,” Doan previously said in response to Denett’s decision.

Doan has been outspoken in her goal to stop the widespread increase of GWACs and contract vehicles. Specifically, she has campaigned to have OFPP halt SEWP. She believes it, and many other GWACs, copy what GSA is commissioned to do.

If an agency uses appropriated dollars to fund its GWAC and charges fees to businesses, Doan said, it doubles the expense to taxpayers. Large and small businesses believe they should bid on every GWAC even though they often offer the same products and services, she said. That drives up the cost to government as businesses recover the expense of bidding on several contracts, Doan said today.

“It has absolutely nothing to do with competition, but it has everything to do with duplication,” she said.

Doan said her advocacy against GWAC proliferation is misunderstood, and she has dropped the subject in her speeches.

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