recommended reading

New GSA Offering Could Avert the Next Conference Scandal

hxdbzxy/Shutterstock.com

The General Services Administration is considering building a menu of contractors offering services that can help agencies avoid the sort of conference spending scandals that rocked GSA itself in 2012, according to solicitation documents posted Tuesday.

Contractors listed on the menu would help centralize agencies’ conference and meeting spending in unified databases, ensure competitive pricing for conference-related purchases, minimize the risk of cancellation fees from hotels and food vendors and archive important information to pass along to GSA and government watchdogs, the request for information said.

Vendors also should demonstrate how their management has saved the government money through lowered prices and increased efficiency, GSA said.

The proposal stems from Office of Management and Budget directives following the April 2012 conference spending scandal that led to the resignation of top GSA officials including Administrator Martha Johnson. GSA’s 2010 Western Regions conference at the M Resort Spa Casino in Las Vegas cost the agency more than $800,000. It featured a mind reader, $4 shrimp and an award-winning music video that seemed to parody the conference’s own lavish spending.

The directives instructed agencies to review all conference policies and required approval by senior officials for any spending over $100,000. OMB prohibited spending more than $500,000 on a single conference.

Tuesday’s document is a request for interested vendors to describe the services they might offer under a meetings management program contract and doesn’t commit the government to purchasing any services. If GSA moves forward with the project, meetings management would become a special item number on GSA’s Schedule 599 for Travel Services Solutions.

A schedule is essentially a menu of services GSA has already vetted and negotiated that other agencies can purchase for a set price rather than negotiating themselves. Special item numbers are collections of related services offered within a schedule. 

(Image via hxdbzxy/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Stolen laptop

3.7M Hong Kong Voters' Personal Data Stolen

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.