GAO and Federal Government ADP Procurement

Published: Nov 3, 1976. Publicly Released: Nov 3, 1976.

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GAO was created by the Budgeting and Accounting Act of 1921 as a nonpolitical, independent arm of Congress. GAO has become increasingly involved in the Federal automatic data processing (ADP) procurement process. Under its audit function, GAO has reviewed individual ADP procurements and general policies and procedures to test their efficiency and economy. An active role was taken in the consideration of the Brooks Act which authorized and directed the General Services Administration (GSA) to coordinate and provide for the economic and efficient purchase of ADP equipment by Federal agencies. Centralization of the ADP management and procurement authority in GSA under the Brooks Act resulted in significant savings and improvements. Full implementation of the Brooks Act has been hampered because the Office of Management and Budget has neither approved nor disapproved the GSA plan for full capitalization of the ADP fund and has placed limitations on ADP expenditures. Much of the ADP equipment is purchased by procuring agencies from schedule contracts. Many of these purchases have been made without seeking competition or determination of lowest overall cost. The need for standardization in ADP management is stressed, and bid protest procedures are reviewed.

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