New multi-agency contracts may need approval

Agencies planning to use interagency contracts might soon need official approval.

Paul Denett, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said in a June 6 memo that he intends to work with other acquisition executives to design a business case review for multi-agency contracts (MACs) similar to the review currently required for governmentwide acquisition contracts.

MACs are task- or delivery-order agreements established by one agency for use by other agencies to buy supplies and services. GWACs are task- or delivery-order agreements for information technology that an agency establishes for use by all other agencies. However, agencies interested in launching GWACs must first get OFPP officials’ approval. MACs could soon require that same type of review.

In the memo, Denett said he plans to work with the Chief Acquisition Officers Council and its Strategic Sourcing Working Group to create a review process.

Officials have said they are concerned about the growing number of interagency contracts. According to OFPP’s latest numbers, the government had more than 50 MACs and just 13 governmentwide IT contracts in fiscal 2006.

Denett’s memo accompanied guidelines to help agencies improve their interagency acquisitions. The guidance seeks to decrease risks when two agencies enter into an agreement and help agencies make the best deal when using another agency’s contract.

Agencies often fail to clearly understand their respective responsibilities, officials say. OFPP’s guidance defines roles and responsibilities for agencies using interagency contracts.

“Agencies who manage interagency acquisitions and the agencies who rely on them share a fiduciary responsibility to use sound contracting and fiscal practices,” Denett said in a press release. “OFPP’s guidance will help agencies get the best results possible.”

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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