The audit report “NASA Acquisition of Services Using the Federal Supply Schedules” (IG-02-014, March 27, 2002) has been posted to the NASA Office of Inspector General Web site at:

In fiscal year 2000, NASA awarded $5.1 billion in contracts for services. We found that NASA can more effectively use the Federal Supply Schedules (FSS) to acquire these services. Under the FSS program, the General Services Administration (GSA) negotiates contracts with suppliers. Federal agencies then can place delivery orders directly with these suppliers. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) encourages agencies to use the FSS for obtaining services.

NASA contracting officers (CO’s) used the FSS to acquire 20 of 32 sampled acquisitions of services that were available through the FSS. However, we found that CO’s had not considered using the FSS for the remaining 12 services. Further, for 8 of the 20 services acquired through the FSS, the CO’s did not obtain multiple price quotes or provide required information in the Request for Quotation or Statement of Work as required by GSA’s ordering procedures. As a result, NASA had reduced assurance that it received the best value for its contracting dollars.

We recommended that NASA direct CO’s to either follow the FAR and the GSA ordering procedures when acquiring services or complete a waiver in accordance with the NASA FAR Supplement when using a non-FSS source for services available through the FSS. We also recommended NASA obtain training from GSA on use of the FSS, and issue a Procurement Information Circular directing CO’s to follow the FAR and GSA Ordering Procedures for Services when using the FSS.

NASA concurred with all the recommendations but did not see the need for the waivers because they relate to only mandatory sources (contracts that GSA has negotiated and mandated for use by Federal agencies) and are not needed to acquire nonmandatory services from a vendor not on the FSS. We agreed that waivers relate to only mandatory sources, but believe NASA should encourage use of the FSS to save both time and money whether the service is or is not obtained from a mandatory source.

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