Letter to Acting Administrator Scoles Regarding Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA) Contracts
March 6, 2009
Mr. Christopher Scolese
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Two Independence Sq uare SW
Washington, D.C. 20546
Dear Mr. Scolese:
The Committee on Science and Technology is very interested in issues related to organizational conflicts of interest. Over the last decade there has been a growing reliance throughout the Federal government upon systems engineering and technical assistance (SETA) contractors to support government managers in overseeing and managing the work of other government contractors and to assist the government in designing systems requirements for future acquisitions. Unfortunately, the companies that provide these oversight and management services often also have divisions that engage in providing goods and other services to the government. This situation brings with it conditions that are ripe for potential organizational conflicts of interest that could compromise the fairness of an acquisition, and impact the ability of the government to get the best price and talent to manage a particular contract.