A recent GSA Inspector General report recommending stricter communications rules for the agency’s procurement personnel might have the unintended consequence of complicating the open exchanges between private contractors and GSA staff that the agency has hoped to foster.
The June 4, 2013 IG report recommended the Federal Acquisition Service implement new guidelines and practices to put more limits on contact and communications among its contracting personnel. The recommendation came because the IG had found some FAS managers had improperly stepped into negotiations between contracting employees and federal contractors. The report contained what some observers called “jarring” language about tense interactions among GSA procurement personnel and private contractors.
Some familiar with the federal procurement environment say that while the report is a case-specific instance of the GSA rightly enforcing its rules against undue strong-arming by GSA contracting managers, it could set back broader efforts to encourage communications between federal procurement personnel and contractors.
According to the IG, one FAS supervisor has been placed on administrative leave after intervening in negotiations, pressuring an FAS contracting officer to accept federal IT contracts with less-than-favorable terms. Further, some GSA subordinate employees said they feared for their jobs if they did not go along with managers, the IG found.
Keep reading this article at: http://fcw.com/Articles/2013/06/07/contractor-agency-communications-gsa-IG.aspx?Page=1