GSA, IG told to work together on contract oversight

The Bush administration’s fiscal 2008 budget tells Lurita Doan, administrator of the General Services Administration, and GSA Inspector General Brian Miller, to work together on reviewing contractors.

Calling the directive a "pilot effort," the budget document states that it will help determine the best combination of management practices for the IG and GSA's Federal Acquisition Service to use in ensuring agencies are getting good prices and the best value from contractors.

Officials from both organizations would need to work on finding alternative methods for doing preaward audits, preaward surveys and other activities on multiple-award schedules and governmentwide acquisition contracts, the proposal states. The 2008 budget provides for up to $5 million for the IG in reimbursable authority for preaward audits and surveys of the contracts. The fiscal 2007 budget had a $5.4 million ceiling.

The agency’s IG office also received a 6 percent increase in the fiscal 2008 budget proposal. The IG’s budget proposal is $47 million, a $3 million increase from the fiscal 2007 proposal.

Doan and Miller have gained attention from the media recently after clashing over funding. In an October 2006 speech, Doan said she would push as one of her legislative goals in 2007 for a more balanced role for the IG. She had a plan to have small and minority-owned businesses do the pre- and postaward audits instead of letting the IG perform them. She questioned the number of audits per contract that are necessary. She also said it would be a waste of money for the IG and FAS to audit the same contracts.

Neither Doan nor other GSA officials have commented on the budget's requirement.

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