The Department of General Services (DGS) is committed to providing a fair, transparent, and inclusive procurement process. The DGS Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) Ombudsman provides a means for contractors and subcontractors providing goods or services under a DGS contract to communicate complaints and concerns regarding contracting, procurement, or a specific contract with DGS.
Please make sure your message includes the following information:
- Your name, company name, and position title
- Best contact information to reach you
- DGS contract number
- Name of the assigned DGS project manager
- Brief description of the complaint or concern; please be specific and state only the facts
- Brief description of attempts you have taken to resolve the matter, with whom, and the outcome of such attempts
- If this is a subcontractor concern, the name and contact information for the prime contractor
- Dates and description of work performed
- If a delayed payment concern, attach the invoice(s) in question
The DGS CBE Ombudsman will:
- Respond within 48 business hours to acknowledge receipt and request additional information as necessary
- Review the complaint or concern
- Attempt informally to facilitate a resolution of any dispute (except when the parties are involved in legal or administrative proceedings)
- Identify systemic concerns and recommend policy changes and strategies to improve the contracting and procurement process
The Ombudsman role is required by law, the provisions of which are below:
D.C. Law 21-158. Procurement Integrity, Transparency, and Accountability Amendment Act of 2016
Sec. 207. Ombudsman for contracting and procurement.
(a) There is established within the Office of Contracting and Procurement an Office of Ombudsman for Contracting and Procurement which shall be headed by an ombudsman with purview over contracts under the authority of the CPO.
(b) Each District agency with independent procurement authority pursuant to section 201 shall designate an Agency ombudsman for Contracting and Procurement.
(c) Each ombudsman designated pursuant to this section shall:
(1) Serve as a vehicle for contractors and subcontractors performing work or providing services under a District contract to communicate their complaints and concerns regarding contracting, procurement, or a specific contract, through a single entity;
(2) Respond to complaints and concerns in a timely fashion with accurate and helpful information;
(3) Determine the validity of any complaint quickly and professionally;
(4) Generate options for a response by the agency or instrumentality and offer a recommendation from among the options;
(5) Except when the parties are involved in legal or administrative proceedings, attempt informally to facilitate a resolution of a dispute between the contracting officer, the prime contractor, and the subcontractor, as appropriate; and
(6) Identify systemic concerns and recommend to the CPO and the Council policy changes, and strategies to improve the contracting and procurement process."
For the full law, see https://beta.code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/laws/21-158.html.