According to the GSA website: “The ordering procedures applicable to the Schedules Program encourage ordering activities to consider and, where applicable, give preference to small businesses. The e-tools available to customers promote increased access to the small business community by allowing customers to search the various socio-economic categories. Contracting officers may make socioeconomic status a primary evaluation factor when making a best value determination.”

How well have these procedures been followed? Have minorities had access to GSA contracts? Have taxpayer dollars been protected? Congress needs to find answers to these questions. 

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) compared total annual compensation for federal and private sector employees with federal contractor billing rates in order to determine whether the current costs of federal service contracting serves the public interest.

POGO’s study demonstrated that the federal government approves service contract billing rates that pay contractors 1.83 times more than the government pays federal employees in total compensation, and more than 2 times the total compensation paid in the private sector for comparable services.

It is my belief that open, fair hiring and contracting practices in GSA would offer minorities significantly more opportunity. We in the Congress have the responsibility to continue to press for answers, and, where necessary, perform corrective action on GSA's performance. 

Rep. Davis represents the 7th District of Illinois.