IG: GSA fixed STARS oversight

The General Services Administration has corrected several problems with one of its major small-business information technology contracts and is doing a better job of keeping task orders within the contract’s scope, according to a recent inspector general report.

The report released March 31 is a follow-up to the IG's December 2006 audit of the 8(a) Streamlined Technology Acquisition Resources for Services (STARS) governmentwide acquisition contract. In that audit, the IG found that GSA’s Small Business Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts Center had awarded task orders that were beyond the contract’s scope despite its attempts to monitor every order. In addition, companies on the contract were receiving disproportionate amounts of subcontracting.

In response to the audit, officials at the center outlined steps for reviewing statements of work before issuing them for competition to the small IT firms on the STARS contract. The March 31 report recounts the IG’s assessment of the center’s progress in that area.

Officials at the center now review an order’s statement of work before and after awarding it, and they examine the companies’ subcontracting reports, the report states. The center’s reviews have helped officials better manage task orders for high-risk and high-dollar awards, GSA officials wrote in a letter included in the report.

The IG reviewed 10 orders awarded under STARS and found one that was beyond the contract’s scope. It was awarded outside the parameters of the contract by an official who did not have the authority to do so, the report states. The IG commended the center for canceling the order after discovering the problem.

“Failure to strengthen the controls in this area could have caused potential misuse of the contract and, ultimately, [jeopardized] the program,” the IG wrote.

As of February, GSA had awarded $1.75 billion to the 217 small companies on the STARS contract, according to agency figures.

About the Author

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

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