Senior officials from the General Services Administration pressured subordinates to accept federal technology contracts with higher-than-necessary prices and unfavorable terms, according to a watchdog report released Tuesday.
GSA Inspector General Brian D. Miller
found that directors for the agency’s technology -acquisition division
improperly intervened when contracting staff members determined that
certain proposals were not in taxpayers’ best interests.
Miller said the findings raise “serious issues affecting the
integrity of our acquisition system,” adding that “contracting officers
need an environment in which they are free to make judgments,
conclusions and findings without undue interference.”
which manages federal properties and facilities, placed one supervisor
on administrative leave and promised to review the contracts to
determine whether they should be canceled or renegotiated. It also said
it would examine its contracting policies and controls.
cited the agency’s three largest contracts for 2011, worth $900
million, for Oracle, Carahsoft and Deloitte. It said company officials
directly contacted agency management when concerns were raised about
their offers, undermining the authority of the lower-level contracting
In one example, a whistleblower told the investigators,
“The pressure is coming from my boss, who has told me he doesn’t want
Carahsoft to call their congressman. They have already called their
congressman before.” (Continues at WaPo)