Updated 6:15 p.m.: A GSA spokeswoman just provided me a statement regarding the delayed vehicle contract:
There is no set schedule for when vehicle contracts must be awarded. The previous contract expired in Sept. 2009. For the first time in GSA’s history under the Recovery Act, we have been able to infuse an additional $300 million dollars into vehicle purchases for more fuel efficient vehicles. Due to the additional focus of manufacturers on these additional Recovery Act purchases and the fact that this was a new competitive procurement that resulted in additional awards and product offerings, the contract award was made in January.
Original post: A spokeswoman at the General Services Administration just told me that the agency has finally issued its long-delayed vehicle contracts for the 2010 buying season.
GSA was expected to issue the contracts Oct. 1, which is the start of the fiscal year. But for reasons that GSA has yet to explain, the contracts remained in limbo for months, preventing federal agencies from purchasing or leasing new vehicles from GSA.
News of the contracts came just as I was putting the finishing touches on an article for Monday’s edition of Federal Times. In the article, federal fleet managers and auto manufacturers say they’re puzzled as to why it took nearly four months for GSA to issue the new contract.