Audit Finds FAS Management Intervened Improperly with Major Contracts
A recent audit by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) management improperly intervened in three large Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts. The contracts in question, representing over $900 million in contract sales in FY2011, were with the companies Oracle, Carahsoft and Deloitte.
The audit states that FAS management “undermined the integrity of the procurement process.” FAS management allowed contractors to circumvent contracting officers if the officers did not approve of the contract terms. FAS management reassigned different contracting officers to a contract. In each instance of reassignment, the new contracting officer awarded or extended the contracts without addressing the issues found by the previous contracting officers. The audit concluded that FAS management’s interventions resulted in contracts with inflated pricing and unfavorable contract terms. The OIG recommended that FAS require management not intervene in contracts except in instances of misconduct, renegotiate or cancel the contracts with Carahsoft and Deloitte and take appropriate action against the FAS directors identified in the report.
Contract compliance is extremely important when dealing with GSA. Contracting officers make sure that contractors are complying with federal terms and conditions while providing quality products and services at the best possible price. When major government contractors run into compliance issues, it causes them to face greater scrutiny in all further dealings with the government and may expose them to further audits. Working with experienced government contracting professionals is the best way to ensure your company is 100% compliant and avoids violating GSA regulations, which could get your company’s contracts audited and/or cancelled. Government contracting professionals will also be able to make sure that contracting officers are acting with integrity on their side of the table. In negotiations where contractors may feel they have to follow GSA explicitly, an experienced GSA consultant can serve as your guardian, helping you avoid negative government exposure.