More Competition Key to Improving OASIS, GSA IG Says

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The agency's inspector general had suggestions, not complaints, about the professional services contract.

The General Services Administration introduced the One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) contracts in 2013, pioneering an objective methodology for selecting winning vendors the government could then use to procure professional services.

Since then, contracting officers awarded 261 task orders with an estimated value of $4.7 billion, and an audit released Thursday suggests GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service use and management of OASIS—considered one of its major challenges—is running smoothly.

The audit found FAS’ Office of Assisted Acquisition Services “personnel complied with price evaluation and negotiation provisions when awarding OASIS task orders and as such, we do not have reportable audit findings.”

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Instead, the GSA IG offered a few observations that could further improve the quality of OASIS task orders.

The first is ensuring each task order receives a minimum of three bids during competition. The audit found that seven of nine competitive task orders received fewer than three bids from qualified contractors. Task orders receiving more bids are generally more competitive, which usually results in agencies receiving a better bang for their bucks.

“Assisted Acquisitions may be able to increase competition on OASIS task orders by requiring contracting officers to obtain three bids, providing contractors with advance notice, and or soliciting feedback from qualified contractors that did not submit a bid,” the IG stated.

GSA agreed with the observation, noting at least three bids is currently considered the target.

The office could provide more advance notice to contractors regarding certain task orders through the use of advance notice memorandums, requests for interest or draft requests for proposals, the IG said. The IG added contracting officers could solicit feedback from non-bidders to determine whether the language was restrictive or damaging to competition.

“In our sample, Assisted Acquisitions contracting officers were inconsistent in providing advance notice to contractors,” the IG stated.

The IG also noted that electronic contract files reviewed “did not contain all required documents” that contracting personnel may have “needed to justify their decision to award” and properly administer a contract. Personnel should also clarify which documents need to be uploaded to comply with Federal Acquisition Regulation.