Even the agency with the most expertise in acquisition needs a little help on occasion.

The General Services Administration (GSA) utilized the NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) contract for $123 million of purchases in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. The contract mainly to provide IT solutions on a faster timeline and offer solutions outside of IT Schedule 70, according to an audit released August 22 by GSA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

The audit, aimed at figuring out why GSA was using an outside contract instead of utilizing its portfolio of schedule contracts and other contract vehicles, found no misconduct from GSA.

“GSA awarded orders under the SEWP contract vehicle in accordance with applicable regulations and GSA policies; as a result, we have no reportable audit findings,” OIG states.

Instead, GSA used the contract “because the required items were either not available through GSA’s Multiple Award Schedules program, or the items could not be provided within the customer’s requested timeframe,” the audit found.

However, the inspector general does report an “observation for management’s attention” in its findings, noting the lack of competition for GSA orders on SEWP. The audit found that out of its sample, 53 percent of orders had only one or two quotes.

“Without adequate price competition, GSA and its customers are at risk of overpaying for contract items under SEWP,” OIG notes. The audit also notes that GSA paid around $480,000 in administrative fees to NASA, although it does not critique the fees.

While the audit does not make any formal recommendations, it suggests requiring at least three quotes, which GSA did not commit to.

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MeriTalk Staff