The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) has published an infographic highlighting data from its 2016 Survey of State Procurement Practices. The survey showed that 85% of states have a single chief procurement officer, and that the use of cooperative purchasing agreements has grown significantly.
The General Services Administration (GSA) released another statement on Friday, January 27 regarding a potential conflict of interest in President Donald Trump’s lease of the Old Post Office building. Democratic lawmakers have written to GSA to ask for clarification on whether the president’s lease does present conflicts of interest. GSA’s statement in full reads: “GSA has received additional information from and is in contact with the Trump Old Post Office, LLC. Consistent with GSA’s treatment of any contract to which GSA is a party, we are reviewing and evaluating this information to assess its compliance with the terms and conditions of the Old Post Office lease. GSA remains committed to expeditiously resolving issues associated with the Old Post Office Lease.”
Two bills aimed at improving the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) acquisition programs are scheduled for a vote tomorrow, Tuesday, in the House. “DHS Acquisition Documentation Integrity Act of 2017” (H.R. 347) would require component heads to maintain data related to operational requirements, lifecycle cost estimates, cost-benefit analyses and a schedule for all programs of $300 million or more. The Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2017 (H.R. 505), would require the DHS undersecretary for management, in coordination with the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to monitor major acquisition programs to make sure they are on schedule and on budget.
Defense One analyzed the per-plane cost of the F-35A fighter jet—the most commonly purchased variation of the F-35—and found that the price has gone down dramatically from 2007, when the per plane cost was $279 million each. It’s now at $102 million apiece. The article also looks at whether President Donald Trump can lower the cost at all, noting that Lockheed Martin’s CEO has possibly suggested bulk buys could help drive the price down.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) has introduced H.R. 679, “to improve the manner in which Federal contracts for design and construction services are awarded, to prohibit the use of reverse auctions for design and construction services procurements, and for other purposes.” The bill was referred to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on January 24.
Roger Waldron, president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, writes that the General Services Administration (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program needs massive reforms. Waldron argues that “the focus of the MAS program appears to have been evolving from that of a competitive market facilitator to a platform for centralizing government processes.” Waldron offers up 14 recommendations for improving the program, including the creation of a Multiple Award Chief Procurement Officer, and the establishment of “a dynamic, real-time electronic marketplace, evolving existing GSA tools, like GSA Advantage, into a holistic, transparent, user-friendly platform that is easily interoperable with commercial contractor systems.”