he Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act adopts several miscellaneous recommendations for improving procurements. Highlights include:
Permitting state and local governments, Native American tribes and Puerto Rico to buy commonly used goods and services at discounted prices under government-wide contracts negotiated by GSA on behalf of federal agencies.
Permitting agencies to enter into contracts that cross fiscal years for services that are continuing and recurring in nature.
Prohibiting executive branch agencies from paying for consultants to evaluate contract proposals unless trained personnel are not readily available within the government.
Permitting exemptions from the "full and open competition" requirement when contracting for experts in connection with litigation.
Repealing and consolidating various obsolete and redundant laws that are unique to the Defense Department.
Permitting agencies to limit competition in order to keep providers of certain vital products and services in business. This can be done to ensure a continuous flow of supplies or services; satisfy a critical need for health, safety or other emergency supplies; or satisfy projected needs based on a history of high demand.
Repealing the requirement that cost-reimbursable contract employees keep their expenses within government per diems. The law also reaffirms that any awards granted under frequent-traveler programs offered by airlines, hotels or rental-car companies may be used only for official travel. "The new provisions probably will result in more federal audit activity to ensure that travelers are following the law," says government contracts attorney John Howell.
Establishing consolidated audit provisions for both Defense and civilian agencies.
Repealing the mandatory use of dual sourcing and competitive prototyping in major programs.
Requiring the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, in consultation with appropriate federal agencies, to develop guidelines to measure the effectiveness of procurement processes.