No doubt many in the acquisition community have had a chuckle or two at GSA’s expense lately with reports issued from the agency’s own inspector general and the Office of Special Counsel enumerating the missteps taken by a former GSA Administrator retaliating against a now former GSA FAS Commissioner.  It is a truism of the human condition that whenever there’s a pot of money around, there are any number of people who will try to get a handful.  What really should be at the front of the minds of those in favor of good acquisition, though, are the current issues confronting the government’s main acquisition agency.  First up, there is no Administrator.  A quick look at the calendar tells you that, even if a candidate were named today, it would be September or October before a person could formally take the helm.  While the agency is being competently run, the top position exists for a reason.  GSA needs permanent leadership to move forward.

Move forward on what?  How about a final decision on the Schedules TDR pilot?  Rumors flourish that this program is floundering. If it is ended, is there a “Plan B” for eliminating the Price Reductions Clause and improving Multiple Award Schedule performance?  Ensuring a smooth transition to EIS and the implementation of Alliant II are also high up on the list of things with which the agency will have to successfully manage in the near term.  Other issues include how the agency will work with e-commerce initiatives that could both improve GSA’s delivery and threaten its product-based contracts.

While no one should make light of an Administrator retaliating against a whistleblower, the more challenging issues confronting GSA lie ahead, not behind of it.  Time to get to work.