Robert Brodsky

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DHS awards fewest noncompetitive contracts ever

March 7, 2011 Reversing a trend that has marked its entire existence, the Homeland Security Department has dramatically reduced the number of noncompetitive contracts it approves and done a better job managing and overseeing those it awards, according to an audit released last week by DHS' inspector general. The department agreed to pay...

Report portrays SSA contract security guards as Keystone Kops

March 4, 2011 Private security guards hired by the Social Security Administration to protect its facilities spent their shifts watching television, engaged in hourlong phone conversations and chatting with their co-workers when they should have been on patrol, according to a report released in early March by the agency's inspector general. The report...

Lawmakers agree on getting rid of overlapping programs

March 3, 2011 House Republicans and Democrats are inching closer to common ground on consolidating or eliminating duplicative federal programs. But lawmakers remain divided on more controversial revenue collection proposals, such as requiring oil companies to pay royalties to the government on leases to extract oil and gas from federal lands. On the...

Administration seeks help in selling off excess federal buildings

March 2, 2011 The Obama administration plans to recruit public and private sector experts to help determine which federal buildings the government should sell, consolidate or reconfigure. On Wednesday, administration officials announced the formation of an independent advisory board that will examine the status of 14,000 vacant government buildings and 55,000 other facilities...

Bills target tax-delinquent feds, contractors

March 1, 2011 Two new bills would prevent contractors and federal employees with "seriously delinquent" tax debt from working for the government. The legislation was introduced Monday by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. Similar measures are being considered in the Senate. The 2011 Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act, introduced by Chaffetz, would require the...

Subcommittee finds GSA public relations contract wasteful

March 1, 2011 A nearly quarter-million-dollar public relations contract was badly mismanaged by the General Services Administration, which allowed the vendor to write the statement of work, failed to clearly define specific deliverables and did not seek competitive bids, according to a Senate subcommittee investigation. In the wake of bruising news reports in...

Information on contractors’ past performance remains spotty

February 28, 2011 Federal agencies are inconsistently entering mandatory reports on contractors' past performance in a governmentwide database, limiting the information available to procurement officials issuing multimillion-dollar wartime awards, witnesses told a panel on Monday. According to testimony before the congressionally chartered Commission on Wartime Contracting, agencies are recording data in the Contractor...

Shutdown? What shutdown?

February 25, 2011 If Congress fails to pass a short-term budget and the government shuts down next week, hundreds of thousands of federal workers could find themselves temporarily idle. But for a select few government agencies that are funded by user fees or by means other than annual congressional appropriations, the threat of...

Wartime contracting commission details years of waste

February 24, 2011 The U.S. government has wasted tens of billions of dollars on contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan and must make sweeping changes to avoid similar mistakes in the future, according to a report published on Thursday by the congressionally chartered Commission on Wartime Contracting. The report included 32 legislative, regulatory and...

GSA names new acquisition chief

February 24, 2011 The General Services Administration has named Mindy Connolly, a procurement policy analyst at the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, as its new chief acquisition officer, Government Executive has learned. GSA Administrator Martha Johnson made the policy announcement in a staffwide memo on Thursday. In her CAO role, Connolly will serve...

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