GSA holds too much fee money, GAO says

The Government Accountability Office believes there might be too much money stored up in the General Services Administration Multiple Award Schedule’s treasury.

GSA collected approximately $282 million in fiscal 2010 from agencies that use the GSA Schedules contracts. GSA collects a 0.75 percent fee to support the program.

But in its report called “Opportunities to Reduce Duplication, Overlap and Fragmentation, Achieve Savings, and Enhance Revenue.” which GAO released Feb. 28, GAO included excess fees from the GSA Schedules program, totaling $62.2 million, as one of many examples of inefficiency in government spending.


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How OMB's guidance fails to prevent duplication at agencies


The annual excess revenue created by GSA’s Schedules program has declined from fiscal 2007 to 2010, but GSA collected more than the program needed each year. GAO suggested that if officials would review and adjust their percentage fee, they might help other agencies that are dealing with tight budgets.

“A reduction in the fee rate for the [Schedules] program could generate significant cost savings for every agency,” GAO wrote.

In September, when GAO issued its initial report on the Schedules fee, GAO recommended that GSA officials develop guidance for evaluating current fee rates when an agency's individual program consistently transfers excess revenue to reserve funds.

“An evaluation would allow GSA to determine whether a reduction in the fee rate of any of its programs might be warranted,” GAO wrote.

GSA officials were open to the policy idea in September, saying they would have a policy in place by March. GSA didn't respond to requests for comment on the policy status.

About the Author

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

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