The Government Accountability Office has called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide contracting staff with comprehensive guidance and training related to the Federal Supply Schedules program.
The FSS program helps VA facilitate the procurement of medical goods and services at volume pricing in support of veterans’ needs, GAO said in a report published Thursday.
The congressional watchdog urged VA to review timeliness goals and identify obstacles to meeting them to allow its National Acquisition Center to initiate measures and provide reliable approaches to securing the needed services and supplies through FSS.
The recommendations were made after GAO found that NAC failed to meet its timeliness goal of 180 days for three-fourths of its non-pharmaceutical FSS contracts awarded between fiscal years 2014 and 2018.
VA should evaluate duplication between FSS and the Medical Surgical Prime Vendor-Next Generation program. “Without assessing duplication between these two programs, VA is at risk of inefficient use of its contracting workforce, and may be unable to fully leverage its buying power,” GAO wrote in the report.
GAO also recommended the General Services Administration should work with VA to improve collaboration on the FSS program and initiate steps to document its delegation of authority for health care-related schedules to VA.