GSA Acquisition management personnel may conduct or facilitate “internal reviews to understand and highlight potential roadblocks and weaknesses of a certain contract action, as well as successes,” according to new policy guidance issued last week from GSA’s Senior Procurement Executive.  The updated guidance was issued in order to clear up confusion from early Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) guidance that limited the role acquisition managers could play in a specific situation, making impasses potentially more difficult to resolve.  The old FAS guidance has now been cancelled, making it easier for contractors to involve other acquisition professionals in situations where they and the contracting officer end up talking past each other.  Still, the new guidance clearly states that “pressuring a contracting officer to sign or execute a contract action, or to decline or reject a contract action” is inappropriate and not allowed.  Similarly, “otherwise interfering with a contracting officer’s ability to complete their authorized duties” remains prohibited.  Overall, however, the new GSA guidance is definitely a step in the right direction.  Previous guidance, issued after a negative GSA IG report, greatly restricted the ability of senior managers to get involved in a disagreement between contractors and contracting officers, even when it was clear that such intervention was needed to resolve a difficult issue.  Several good FAS managers were reassigned because of alleged improper involvement, further chilling the climate for others.  The results ultimately were not in the best interests of government or industry.  The new guidance still requires that senior managers log contacts with contractors and makes clear that CO’s have the final say in any contract award decision.  Still, it is now easier for industry to enlist help when “what we have here is a failure to communicate.”