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Did the GSA IG put communications at risk?

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A reader of our story on the GSA IG's report criticizing managers for intervening in contract negotiations said the IG was right, writing: The GSA IG has properly addressed a serious problem, which has nothing to do with OFPP’s excellent work in clarifying permissible communications in the presolicitation phase [in it's Myth-Busting program]. Interference in the course of negotiations by program or acquisition management not only undermines the warranted Contracting Officer responsible for the award, but will leave the offerors on the other side of the table in doubt regarding the Government’s real intentions.

Mark Rockwell responds: I found several people in the procurement community who said they slapped their foreheads in amazement at the level of detail and overall tone of the memo. Most said the IG acted rightly, but kind of harshly. It was the tone, including sharp exchanges between federal contract managers and staff, that took some by surprise. Seeing those kinds of exchanges in print, they said, tends to make everyone take a step back. In a procurement environment where the government is trying to encourage pre-solicitation interaction between private contractors and contracting personnel, it could be counterproductive.

Posted by Mark Rockwell on Jun 12, 2013 at 12:10 PM


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