Long-time in coming, OFPP reverse auction memo rings hollow

Anne Rung, OFPP administrator, has released a six-page policy memo basically reminding agencies of best practices to keep in mind when using this tool.

But the only real instruction to agencies is for them to send her office a point of contact by July 10.

“OFPP seeks to work with agencies to identify the essential management data points (e.g., price paid for item, fees paid (if any), number of bidders and level of interactive bidding) and mechanisms for collecting and aggregating information in a manner that leverages technology and avoids the need for manual collection,” Rung wrote in the memo. “For your awareness, as a further step, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council will open a case to develop coverage on the use of reverse auctions in the Federal Acquisition Regulation and will address the guidance in this memorandum, as appropriate.”

How A Reverse Auction Works

The rest of the memo doesn’t necessarily address any of the long-held concerns by the Government Accountability Office, lawmakers and vendors.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federalnewsradio.com/517/3875528/Long-time-incoming-OFPP-reverse-auction-memo-rings-hollow

VA says questionable spending was ‘improper accounting,’ not fraud

A senior Veterans Affairs Department official denied allegations last Tuesday that the agency committed fraud by making billions of dollars in purchases outside the federal rules or by making it appear to Congress like it was meeting its veteran-owned small business contracting mission.

VAThomas J. Leney, executive director of the VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, conceded that the agency spent more than $3 billion in purchases outside the normal contracting process, but insisted that in most cases the buys were made to meet the needs of veteran patients.

He was responding to questioning from Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colorado, who described the agency’s purchases, failure to follow acquisition law and fudging the numbers on small business contracts as fraud.

“I am not prepared to say that this is an issue of fraud,” Leney replied. “This is an issue of improper accounting.”

Keep reading this article at: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/06/24/va-says-questionable-spending-was-improper-accounting-not-fraud.html

VA cheated small businesses out of millions of dollars in contracts, whistleblower alleges

Small businesses, including veteran-owned businesses, have been cheated out of millions of dollars in federal contracts because the Department of Veterans Affairs failed to follow contracting laws.

US CongressThat’s the conclusion of members of Congress who have been investigating VA’s purchasing practices. The VA has been spending more than $6 billion a year on medical supplies without following contracting rules, such as a requirement to set aside purchases below $150,000 for small businesses, according to Jan Frye, the VA’s assistant secretary for acquisitions and logistics. Frye brought these issues to the VA’s top management, then turned whistleblower when he wasn’t satisfied with management’s reaction. Now he’s been a star witness at three congressional hearings on the matter.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/news-wire/2015/06/24/va-cheated-small-businesses-out-of-millions-of.html

No more charging strippers to Uncle Sam’s plastic

Federal employees who want to gamble or frequent strip clubs for an evening of fun will have to use their own credit cards to pay for it.

PcardAn amendment included in the House-passed fiscal 2016 Defense spending bill prohibits Defense civilian workers and military personnel from using government charge cards for expenses related to “gaming, or for entertainment that includes topless or nude entertainers or participants.”

The language specifically prohibits gaming, rather than any expenses at a casino, so lodging and meals, for example, would be exempt.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., sponsored the amendment, which was adopted on voice vote. The House on Thursday passed the fiscal 2016 Defense spending bill. The full Senate has not yet considered its fiscal 2016 Defense appropriations legislation.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/management/2015/06/no-more-charging-strippers-uncle-sams-plastic/115174

See related story at: Senators Want GSA to Catch Feds Who Use Plastic at Strip Clubs

Pentagon contractor accused of overcharging millions

The federal government has alleged a military contractor overcharged it by at least $44 million for parts, labor and supplies on a multi-billion dollar contract for tens of thousands of trucks ordered by the Army’s acquisitions center based in Warren, MI.

TACOMFiling its complaint in U.S. District Court in Detroit, the Justice Department accused BAE Systems, the American subsidiary of a global defense and security contractor based in London, England, of “certifying and submitting false or fraudulent” prices to contracting officials at Michigan’s Army Tactical Command Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM).

“Private companies are entitled to earn an honest profit from procurement contracts with the U.S. government, but they may not knowingly overcharge the military for supplies and materials,” said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade in Detroit. “The conduct alleged in this complaint is akin to charging $600 for a hammer.”

Keep reading this article at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/2015/06/19/tacom-bae-complaint/28982833/