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Contracting Transparency Bill Receives Pushback from Industry

As we reported last week, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has introduced S.651, the “Contractor Accountability and Transparency Act of 2017,” which would require some contracts to be published online, in the interest of transparency. The bill, which is receiving pushback from industry, would cover awards worth $150,000 or more and would require that contracts be posted not later than 30 days after the agency enters into the agreement. Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president of the Professional Services Council, said the bill creates “an awful lot of work” for industry, to determine what should be redacted.

Not-for-Profit Debuts “Google Maps” for Federal Acquisition

The Federal Times reports that a new digital acquisition platform created by the MITRE Corporation—a technology and research development not-for-profit—is intended to be a “Google Maps” for federal acquisition. According to the site, the platform “uses targeted guidance to accelerate proficiency and efficiency by curating the best resources from dozens of sites and converted static references into a one-stop shop.” The idea is to be able to quickly tweak and optimize requirements and “avoid circumstances where the acquisition could become obsolete as it clears the bureaucratic process.”

GAO Rules in Landslide of Protests Against Department of Education Award

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has taken the unusual step of publishing a press release announcing the resolution of a protest. The release actually notes that it resolves protests filed by 17 companies against awards by the Department of Education (DOE) for student loan debt collection services, GAO sustaining several of those protests in part. According to the release: “GAO sustained, or upheld, several of the protests in part, finding that DOE made several prejudicial errors in evaluating proposals. These errors led DOE to make source selection decisions that GAO found were unreasonable because they were based on erroneous conclusions in support of the contracts awarded.”

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