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NCJ Number: 63691 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: INEFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF GSA'S (GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION'S) MULTIPLE AWARD SCHEDULE PROGRAM - A COSTLY, SERIOUS, AND LONGSTANDING PROBLEM
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: US Comptroller General
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 71
Sponsoring Agency: National Technical Information Service
Springfield, VA 22151
US Comptroller General
Washington, DC 20548
Sale Source: National Technical Information Service
US Dept of Commerce
5285 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22151
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS REPORT EVALUATES THE QUALITY, SCOPE, AND OPERATIONS OF THE GENERAL SERVICE ADMINISTRATION'S (GSA'S) PROGRAM FOR MAKING A VARIETY OF COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS AVAILABLE TO FEDERAL AGENCIES.
Abstract: THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO) REVIEW WAS CONDUCTED FROM SEPTEMBER 1978 TO MARCH 1979 AT GSA HEADQUARTERS AND REGIONAL OFFICES, CIVILIAN AGENCIES, MILITARY INSTALLATIONS, AND STATE PROCUREMENT OFFICES. SELECTED VENDORS AND OFFICIALS WERE INTERVIEWED, AND PROCUREMENT FILES AND DOCUMENTS WERE STUDIED. THE GSA'S MULTIPLE AWARDS PROGRAM HAS RECENTLY UNDERGONE UNRESTRICTED GROWTH, CAUSING A SHIFT IN THE PROGRAM'S FUNCTION. IT HAD BEEN INTENDED TO DECREASE AGENCY OPEN MARKET PURCHASES BY OFFERING A SELECTION OF COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS BELOW MARKET PRICES, AND MAKE COMMERCIAL ITEMS AVAILABLE WHEN IT IS IMPRACTICAL TO DRAFT ADEQUATE SPECIFICATIONS FOR BIDS. CURRENTLY, THE PROGRAM IS BEING USED TO INCREASE SALES TO FEDERAL AGENCIES BY OFFERING A WIDE SELECTION AND VARIETY OF PRODUCTS, THEREBY NEGLECTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMERCIAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR COMPETITIVE SINGLE AWARDS. THE PROGRAM NOW INCLUDES LOW DEMAND AND LUXURY ITEMS AND ACCEPTS TOO MANY VENDORS SUPPLYING SIMILAR PRODUCTS. THE ITEMS OFFERED ARE SO NUMEROUS THAT THE SCHEDULES' SHEER SIZE HAS BECOME UNMANAGEABLE AND DIFFICULT TO MONITOR AND USE BY CUSTOMER AGENCIES. INEFFICIENT PRACTICES INCLUDE POOR NEGOTIATING TECHNIQUES THAT DO NOT INSURE THE BEST PRICES OR PRODUCTS, AS WELL AS NEGLIGENT AGENCY PROCUREMENT PRACTICES. IN CONTRAST, COMPETITIVE PROCUREMENT IS BEING USED IN STATES WHERE SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER PRICES FOR IDENTICAL PRODUCTS HAD BEEN OBTAINED. GSA IS URGED TO DEVELOP RESTRICTIVE CRITERIA TO CURB MULTIPLE AWARD SCHEDULES BY IDENTIFYING AGENCY REQUIREMENTS; CRITICALLY REVIEWING ITEMS ON THE SCHEDULES; AND DEVELOPING THE ALTERNATIVE, COMMERCIAL ITEM DESCRIPTIONS FOR SOLICITING BIDS FROM POTENTIAL COMPETITIVE SUPPLIERS. GAO INITIATIVES TO IMPROVE THIS PROGRAM, DATING FROM 1973, ARE SUMMARIZED, ALONG WITH CURRENT GSA EFFORTS TO COMPLY, INCLUDING A PROJECT TO DEVELOP 200 COMMERCIAL ITEM DESCRIPTIONS. PHOTOGRAPHS, CHARTS, AND GRAPHS ARE INCLUDED. THE APPENDIX CONTAINS A DIALOGUE PRESENTING GAO RECOMMENDATIONS AND THE GSA COMMENTS. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Economic planning; General Services Administration (GSA); Government contracting; Public administration; Specifications; Trade practices; US Government Accountability Office (GAO)
Note: REPORT TO THE CONGRESS
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63691

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