Bill To Repeal Certain Provisions of Law Relating to the Procurement of Advertising for the Government

B-199696: Published: Nov 14, 1980. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1985.

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GAO comments were requested on a draft bill which would repeal three laws which refer to the procurement of advertising for the government. These statutes involve an administrative procedure of delegating authorities and the maintenance of records. GAO held that these features are troublesome and of no particular value, particularly in terms of the legislation as originally enacted. The statutes were enacted at a time when the government establishment was small and the department head could personally review the routine operations under his control. Today, however, the procedures are not in keeping with the complexities of government operations and there appears to be no good reason for continuance of such requirements. Advertising needed by Government agencies in newspapers could satisfactorily be procured and paid for through application of available procurement procedures. The requirements in these statutes call for outmoded, special, and time-consuming administrative actions in the procurement process. Additionally, the provisions serve to require the denial of any payment to a publisher who has furnished advertising in good faith to the government where the government agent, through error or oversight, has not complied with the statutes in procuring advertising. These claims must then be sent to Congress for approval of payment. Repeal of these provisions would permit payment of such relatively small claims without having to take up the time of Congress and related expenses and would promote economy and efficiency in government procurement.

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