Letter: Taxpayers lose under many agency-oriented contracts

Regarding "Use of GWACs seen slowing," a reader writes: [Ray] Bjorklund is objectively correct about the decline of the [governmentwide acquisition contracts]. This decline is perhaps the saddest commentary on the health of the federal acquisition community, including [the Office of Federal Procurement Policy], in the last three years.

The proliferation of agency-oriented contracts represents a perverse fragmenting of operations. The fed should be unifying, consolidating and integrating its sprawling acquisition enterprise to save resources, especially when there is a shortage of trained acquisition personnel. The proliferation of these contracts complicates doing business with the federal government and runs up industry costs. The agency-oriented contract offices become saturated and increasingly cannot support agency missions on a timely basis, especially in the Defense Department. In the end, the taxpayer loses.

Bjorklund is too polite and ultimately off the mark in his reasons for the decline of the GWAC. The reality has more to do with politics, egos and rice bowls than anything else.

Compounding the problem is a comprehensive lack of leadership at the General Services Administration that has allowed the most enlightened acquisition apparatus in federal history to crumble under the fear of audits no matter how overzealous or irrational. Yes, GWACs are in decline for now. The acquisition community is in decline. But GWACs are not dead. Millions of dollars continue to flow through them. Missions are accomplished under GWACs every day. Tomorrow is a new day.

Even bureaucrats can learn. Some are still looking out for the taxpayer.

Anonymous


What do you think? Paste a comment in the box below (registration required), or send your comment to [email protected] (subject line: Blog comment) and we'll post it.

Featured

  • Management
    shutterstock image By enzozo; photo ID: 319763930

    Where does the TMF Board go from here?

    With a $1 billion cash infusion, relaxed repayment guidelines and a surge in proposals from federal agencies, questions have been raised about whether the board overseeing the Technology Modernization Fund has been scaled to cope with its newfound popularity.

  • IT Modernization
    shutterstock image By enzozo; photo ID: 319763930

    OMB provides key guidance for TMF proposals amid surge in submissions

    Deputy Federal CIO Maria Roat details what makes for a winning Technology Modernization Fund proposal as agencies continue to submit major IT projects for potential funding.

Stay Connected