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GWACs On The Downturn

A report released earlier this month by FedSources shows that GWACs (Government Wide Acquisition Contracts) have been on the decline for at least the last three years. From fiscal 2005 through 2007, GWAC spending fell by about 30 percent while at the same time agency-sponsored multiple award contract spending rose more than 40 percent.

GWAC Total Spending
Civilian Multiple Award Contracts
  • 2007 -- $3.19 billion
  • 2006 -- $3.78 billion
  • 2005 -- $4.46 billion
  • 2007 -- $1.31 billion
  • 2006 -- $1.02 billion
  • 2005 -- $1.04 billion

I think FedSources has objectively determined what I've been thinking for some time - and that is GWACs don't live up to relieving agencies from the time, effort and cost of managing procurement contracts - and in fact, have become more of an additional contracting burden than a relief from the already burdensome process. The FedSources review results continue a consistent theme as the Government Accountability Office and several inspectors general have echoed the incremental effect GWACs bring to the contracting process. In fact, these later sources go on to say that federal agencies often award GWAC task orders without sufficient competition and then fail to manage the task order performance thereby chipping away any savings that were suppose to be realized from using the GWAC vehicle. The DOD IG has documented case after case after case in which defense agencies assumed a laissez faire attitude to task orders, over-relying on the GWAC contract officer to provide oversight and leaving task order in limbo.

The GWAC results trend doesn't come at a good time for GSA as the Alliant and Alliance Small Business GWACs appear to be in complete confusion - or possibly chaos - from an earlier judicial ruling which slapped the GSA across the head. If GSA cannot demonstrate a clear vision, concrete operational plan and proven cost savings for GWACs, the programs should be terminated and their role in the federal procurement process ended.

Posted April 20, 2008 in Procurement
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Experienced User?
Have you actually used GWAC in the last 12 months?
Posted by Stephanie on April 27, 2008

I've been involved in two GWAC task orders and in both cases I felt there was a lack of competition and the alleged savings in both efficiencies and money were a dream.
Posted by Howard on April 27, 2008


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