Office of the Procurement Ombudsman perspectives e-newsletter winter 2016 edition

OPO Perspectives

On the Ombudsman's desk

Procurement Ombudsman retires at conclusion of five year mandate

The Procurement Ombudsman, Frank Brunetta, retired at the conclusion of his five year mandate on December 18, 2015. The Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO) wishes Mr. Brunetta a healthy and enjoyable retirement after 37 years of dedicated public service. During his tenure, OPO experienced a 74% increase in the number of people contacting the Office for help, which he referred to as a clear and indisputable indicator that the Office has become a safe and trusted recourse for suppliers experiencing federal contract issues.

Prior to retiring, Mr. Brunetta released his “End of Mandate” report outlining key issues in federal procurement in need of attention. In his report, he reiterates his oft-stated contention that federal procurement is not broken, but laments that little has been done over the years to address ongoing systemic issues.

Here is what you can expect until the appointment of a new ombudsman

If you submit a written complaint regarding the award or administration of a federal contract, OPO cannot:

  • determine whether the complaint meets the regulatory criteria for review
  • launch a review of the complaint
  • issue reports on reviews of complaints launched prior to the Ombudsman’s retirement

In addition, with regard to reviewing departmental procurement practices, OPO cannot:

  • launch a review
  • issue reports of departmental procurement practices launched prior to the Ombudsman’s retirement

Nonetheless, the office of the Procurement Ombudsman will continue to

  • accept written complaints, which must be sent to OPO within the regulatory timelines, and hold these until the appointment of a new Ombudsman
  • work on all reviews launched prior to the Procurement Ombudsman’s retirement
  • provide helpful information and options to suppliers and federal organizations dealing with procurement questions, issues or concerns
  • contact the department, or supplier, on your behalf to try to help resolve a contract issue or dispute informally
  • provide formal dispute resolution services regarding federal contracts

Therefore, we encourage everyone to continue to contact OPO with any and all questions, concerns or disputes regarding federal contracting, and we will try to help you by providing information, options and dispute resolution services.

For more information, visit the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman website.

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