Agent Orange Studies:

Poor Contracting Practices at Centers for Disease Control Increased Costs

GGD-90-122BR: Published: Sep 28, 1990. Publicly Released: Oct 23, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) funds management and contract administration practices for its study of the effects of Agent Orange on the health of Vietnam veterans.

GAO found that: (1) the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) transferred $70.4 million to CDC to complete the Agent Orange studies; (2) CDC spent $51.5 million on contracts, personnel costs, equipment, and miscellaneous expenses, and transferred a total of $18.3 million to the Department of the Treasury, Air Force, and VA; (3) CDC planned three major studies to determine the long-term health effects of military service in Vietnam, the relationship between Agent Orange exposure and veterans' health, and the incidence of rare types of cancer among Vietnam veterans; (4) CDC conducted a validation study which indicated that military records could not accurately establish Agent Orange exposure, resulting in cancellation of one of three studies; (5) CDC completed and issued reports on the other two studies in 1990; and (6) CDC incurred unnecessary costs because of premature award of contracts and poor and questionable contract administration practices.

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