GSA nominee wants competition at the task order level

Emily Murphy, the nominee to be the next administrator of the General Services Administration, sailed through her hearing Wednesday, facing few tough questions about her plans to improve federal acquisition, and promising to address long-standing issues in the Public Building Service.

However, Murphy, a former staff member for the House Small Business and Armed Services committees, did offer some further insight into where she believes federal procurement needs to go in the short term.

“Competition and reducing waste, and increasing transparency were two of the four things I’m really hoping to work on at GSA,” Murphy told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “Within the Federal Acquisition Service, which does over $50 billion in contracts on behalf of other agencies each year, I’d like to work to make sure the ceiling prices that are being set for agencies are just the beginning. When we set a price on our GSA schedule contract it’s more or less like the rack rate on the back of a hotel room door, the most you will ever pay. We are trying to make sure GSA’s contracting officers and our policies support really vigorous competition at the task order level because that is the amount we actually are going to spend so we want to get the best deal there, the most competition we can there.”

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