The General Service Administration’s Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) is supposed to be a way for agencies to streamline procurement. However, achieving the desired efficiency requires that the Government buyer use the right contract vehicle for a given requirement. If the Government uses the wrong schedule—or a contractor proposes to provide goods or services that are not available under its schedule contract, and the agency fails to perform a careful evaluation—litigation may effectively eliminate the desired efficiencies. A recent GAO decision, US Investigations Services provides a good example of how thing can go awry.
The FBI issued a task order for services in connection with its National Name Check Program to the awardee using the awardee’s FSS contract. Under the task order, the awardee would research FBI files, assist in responding to FOIA requests, and support the agency in making national security classification determinations.
The protester raised several protest grounds, and GAO sustained one: the labor categories required to perform the task order were not in the awardee’s FSS contract. The agency’s solicitation included four labor categories, and the awardee proposed a single labor category from its FSS contract to satisfy the requirements of three of the categories. GAO compared the labor categories required under the solicitation with the description of the awardee’s category and determined “that the duties, responsibilities and qualifications of the types of employees solicited by the agency are not encompassed within” the awardee’s labor category. The agency was looking for personnel with in-depth knowledge of FBI policy and functions, as well as experience in records management, declassification review, and paralegal services. The awardee’s labor category focused on general aspects of program management, such as developing business methods, identifying best practices, and creating and assessing performance measurements.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=368660