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Federal Contracting to be Examined Nationally

Thanks in large measure to recommendations pushed by AGC of Washington the Multiple Award Task Order Contracts (MATOC) system that governs much of nation’s military construction will come under close scrutiny by the Secretary of Defense.

AGC of Washington contractors have been concerned that local contractors are denied bidding opportunities at federal facilities particularly Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) because of MATOC awards that limit competition.

“AGC members and staff have become increasingly frustrated with fewer and fewer bidding opportunities at local federal facilities even though the amount of dollars flowing to those installations has exploded in recent years” said AGC Southern District Manager Tim Attebery. Attebery worked with AGC of America and Rep. Adam Smith to have a provision requiring the Defense Secretary to review federal contracting in the recently-passed National Defense Authorization Act.

“Contractors in AGC’s Southern District have been getting previews of upcoming federal projects in the Northwest for the last three years” added Attebery. “More and more we were seeing the Unrestricted Acquisition Program go by the wayside and the MATOC overwhelming every large federal facility in the nation.”

The Unrestricted Acquisition Program provides for the most open and fair bidding competition values long promoted by AGC.

“AGC met with Congressman Smith whose district includes JBLM and explained the problem in-depth and offered solutions” Attebery said. “Rep. Smith took those solutions and proposed that an extensive examination of federal contracting take place. Very rarely does AGC of Washington get the opportunity to help shape an in-depth examination of federal contracting policy and we were gratified to be successful in this effort. We owe a big thanks to Rep. Smith and AGC of America as well.”

The provision in the Defense Authorization bill that pertains to the MATOC review reads as follows:

“The committee believes that the Department should minimize barriers to competition and ensure the widest participation of construction contractors to the military construction programs in order to ensure best value for the taxpayer. Therefore the committee directs the Secretary of Defense to conduct a review of this issue and provide a report on the findings to the congressional defense committees by October 1 2011. The review shall include as a minimum: (1) A cost benefit analysis of the regional task order construction contracts compared with a locally based task order contract or a single construction project acquisition process. Such an assessment should include a review of potential construction contractors that are eliminated from competition and the potential savings that would be expected by an expanded contractor field participating in the construction acquisition process; (2) An assessment of the programs or policies to determine if there are statutory or regulatory barriers in providing a locally based construction contract; (3) An assessment of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command’s Multiple Award Task Order Contract to determine compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulations related to contract bundling and small business considerations; and (4) An assessment on the construction contract bundling definitions to determine whether an expansion of the definition is appropriate to ensure small business equities are adequately protected.”

For more information contact AGC Southern District Manager Tim Attebery 253-896-0033 or 800-637-7717.

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