FEDweek

Administration Seeks Contracting Policy Changes

The Trump administration’s latest set of legislative proposals to Congress–designed for possible inclusion in the DoD authorization bill but having government-wide applications–includes several changes on contracting related policies.

One would require that agencies produce inventories of their jobs that are commercial in nature only every other year, rather than annually. Those inventories, required by the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act, were designed as an aid to agencies considering conducting Circular A-76 contracting-out studies; however, there has been a moratorium on such studies since 2009 and inventories change little year to year, the request notes.

Another would raise the “micro-purchase” threshold when using government procurement charge cards to $10,000, up from the current $5,000 in defense agencies and $3,500 in non-defense agencies. Use of the purchase cards has numerous advantages and “there are many needs between $3,500 and $10,000 that can be more efficiently acquired with a purchase card in the hands of a trained end user,” it says, adding that “agencies have deployed a number of systems and internal controls to reduce the risk of fraud, waste, abuse, and misuse associated with the purchase card.”

A third would rescind a requirement for contracting officers to make a determination that an interagency acquisition is the best procurement alternative before placing an order over $550,000 against Federal Supply Schedule contracts, or before placing any order against government-wide acquisition contracts or multi-agency contracts regardless of dollar value. “This requirement runs contrary to more recent congressional direction and Government Accountability Office recommendations for agencies to leverage purchasing power via interagency acquisition and to reduce unnecessary contract duplication,” it says.