GSA Managers Faulted for Overruling Contracting Officers

June 5, 2013

Acquisition managers at the General Services Administration "undermined the integrity of the procurement process" when they overruled underlings and altered the administration of $900 million in multiple award schedule contracts with major software firms, an audit found.

The managers' "improper intervention" in response to complaints from Oracle, Deloitte and Carahsoft -- in the form of extending flawed contracts and reassigning contracting officers -- resulted in contracts with "inflated pricing and/or unfavorable contract terms and extensions where contracting staff had determined such a decision was not in the best interests of the United States," according to a report from the GSA inspector general's office.

The moves also "compromised the authority of contracting officers and adversely affected morale," said the report written by regional auditor John Walsh. The report documents the IG office's efforts to alert top GSA managers to the situation as early as April 2011. 

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