Coast Guard’s Fat Requirements for Dry Suits All Wet Says GAO

The Coast Guard issued a delivery order under a GSA Schedule contract to U.S.I.A. Underwater Industrial Apparel (“USIA”) for 777 underwater dry suits. USIA delivered the first 100 suits with an invoice for $59,000. The Coast Guard tested these suits and found they did not meet the specifications for an adjustable Velcro neck. After discussing the problem, the parties signed a bilateral modification “to change the delivery date, change the specification, and add a first article requirement.” The Coast Guard did not return the 100 suits to USIA. USIA then delivered 120 more suits with the new adjustable neckline. The Coast Guard again tested the suits and determined that 32.5% of the suits leaked. The Coast Guard then issued a cure notice for the delivery … Continue reading

The Straight Dope on the GSA Schedules Program

Authored by Larry Allen, Allen Federal Business Partners Does your company currently hold a GSA or VA Schedule contract?  Have you been told by a customer or consultant that you “must” get a Schedule in order to do government business?  Alternatively, have you been told to avoid the Schedules at all costs and just sell without a contract? Let’s look at the current GSA and VA Multiple Award Schedules program in a realistic light and answer these questions as honestly as possible. If you’re already a Schedule contract holder you know it can be a great tool for selling to the government.  Like any tool, however, how well it is used depends on who is wielding it.  No one, for example, wants to live in … Continue reading

GSA Schedule Contract Disputes: Which Contracting Officer Decides?

The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals recently addressed the question of which contracting officer must decide disputes concerning GSA schedule contracts–the GSA CO or the Ordering Office CO.  FAR 8.406 says both.  It gives the CO from the Ordering Office (in this case, the EEOC) the authority to issue final decisions on disputes “pertaining to the performance of orders.” The GSA schedule CO is given authority to issue final decisions on disputes “pertaining to the terms and conditions” of the schedule contracts. EEOC decided not to exercise the option years of a delivery order for leasing commercial IT equipment, citing lack of appropriations as the authority for the non-exercise.   Asserting a wrongful decision, GTSI filed a claim with both contracting officers, EEOC and GSA.  The … Continue reading