December 20, 2001The Defense authorization bill passed by Congress last week included several provisions that will affect the Pentagon procurement process:
The original Army study required contractors to report a variety of information on how they do business with the department, including how much contractor employees get paid, how many hours they work, and who the actual customer of their services is within the Army. The conference report on the new bill specifies the Army cannot collect any data that requires contractors to build new data systems, a measure that will limit the reach of the new report, according to Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council, an association representing federal contractors.
"The law makes it very clear you can't impose extra burdens on the private sector," he said.
But 1,200 contractors complied with the Army data call this year, so private firms may not need new systems to provide the required information, said Dan Guttman, a fellow with the National Academy of Public Administration.
"DoD might state that new systems are not needed since hundreds of contractors have already complied with the reporting at issue, and, therefore, presumably have systems to do so."
The ambiguity in the conference report leaves it up to Defense personnel and procurement officials to work out the scope and content of the Army count.
December 20, 2001