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Share your thoughts: Too much IG oversight?

You probably heard OFPP's Paul Denett's comments last week about IGs. [FCW.com, 11.07.2007]

The IGs have taken over the role of program manager, Paul Denett, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said in a speech at a Coalition for Government Procurement conference.

“They get aggravating sometimes,” Denett also said after his speech.

The IGs should seek out waste, fraud and abuse, “but when they become so dominant that program managers and contracting officers are reluctant to exercise what they believe is their best business judgment…that’s not healthy,” Denett said in the speech.

The IGs serve their purpose, but they should not go beyond their responsibilities, Denett said.

“They need to act professionally and back up their findings with fact that program managers and agencies can verify,” he added.

So what say you? For the FCW.com poll this week, we're asking: "Do you agree with OFPP's Paul Denett, who said IGs are taking over program managers' roles?" Take the poll at www.fcw.com/polls.

You can also have your say in the FCW.com Forum.

Are IGs really overstepping their authority? Let us know what you think. Post a comment (registration required), or send it by e-mail to letters@fcw.com (subject line: Blog comment) and we'll post it for you.

One other aside: There was a comment on my post earlier this week about the disappearing schedule contractors. A reader asks, "Where were you when the administrator of GSA, Lurita Doan, first called attention to the dangers and long-term added costs to taxpayers of an unchecked and unbalanced GSA IG?"

Not to answer that question specifically, but it is worth going back and reading FCW columnist and government contracts attorney Jonathan Aronie's July 31, 2006 -- yes, 2006 -- column headlined "The profit margin: GSA’s inspector general squeezes profit margins of vendors selling services under schedule contracts."

As if the vendors who have General Services Administration schedule contracts don’t have enough to worry about, here’s a new one for you. Apparently, GSA’s inspector general has decided that companies selling services to the federal government should be limited to 10 percent profit on their schedule rates.

And then, just weeks later, GSA Administrator Lurita Doan wrote a response to Aronie's column. She doesn't quite defend the IG, but she comes close.

The General Services Administration’s inspector general doesn’t smoke, nor, to my knowledge, does he hang out in a smoke-filled back room. What I do know for certain is that the IG is not creating pricing policy — or any other policy — for GSA as Jonathan S. Aronie asserted in the July 31, 2006, issue of Federal Computer Week.

I also know that GSA does not have a new unwritten rule that limits services contract vendors on schedule contracts to a 10 percent profit margin, in violation of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

How far we have come.

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Nov 14, 2007 at 12:17 PM


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