OFPP to issue interagency contracting guide

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy is working on an interagency contract guide to begin defining which agency is responsible for what aspects of a contract and standardizing the rapidly growing field of acquisitions among agencies, a senior procurement official said last week.

Robert Burton, deputy OFPP administrator, said the guide will go step-by-step through the acquisition process, laying out agencies' roles and responsibilities on the contract or agreement. The publication is expected in August, he said.

“We’re going to go through the entire acquisition process,” from acquisition planning to contract administration, Burton said at the Coalition for Government Procurement conference in Crystal City, Va., June 21.

“We’re going to be very clear about whose responsibility it is,” he said.

OFPP also wants to get a handle on the types of agreements agencies are entering into while keeping them regulated and on a common framework, he said. “One of our objectives here is to have uniformity and standardization within interagency agreements.”

Burton said the guide would have an appendix with a diagram of the essential elements of a model interagency agreement.

“We’re not going to tell you exactly how to word it word-for-word,” he added. “At a minimum, we’re going to cover the elements that should be in any, any interagency agreement.”

As of December 2006, OFPP counted 253 interagency contracts — a figure that concerns officials.

The office has been working on the guide for a while, but other priorities bumped it back, Burton said. “It is now moving to more of a fast-track mode.”

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