Farm Credit System:

Costs for Office Space, Equipment, and Furniture Compared to GSA's Costs

GGD-94-57: Published: Jan 7, 1994. Publicly Released: Jan 7, 1994.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed whether Farm Credit System (FCS) entities and the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) could reduce their procurement costs by using General Services Administration (GSA) supply sources for office space and equipment, focusing on how FCS and FCA 1992 office space and equipment costs compared with the costs for identical items available through GSA supply sources.

GAO found that: (1) FCS and FCA could reduce their procurement costs if they have access to GSA supply sources for office equipment and furniture purchases; (2) GSA prices for office equipment and furniture were often less than the prices FCA and FCS paid in 1992; (3) FCS and FCA costs for office space were about the same as GSA office space costs; (4) some FCS entities eligible to use GSA sources did not always obtain GSA prices when they were less than open market prices; (5) FCS and FCA costs for leasing office space were about the same as GSA leasing costs; (6) FCS and FCA used more space per employee than GSA, in part because of recent staffing reductions; and (7) FCS and FCA have taken steps to reduce excess office space and improve their space utilization rates.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On January 23, 1996, the Chairman, Farm Credit Administration Board, advised Farm Credit System officials that through coordination with the General Services Administration, the authority for the Farm Credit System to purchase supplies and services through use of the General Services Administration sources had been expanded.

    Matter: Because of potential cost savings, Congress may wish to consider amending the Farm Credit Act of 1971 to extend eligibility to all FCS associations and service entities to use GSA supply sources.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Chairman of the Board, FCA, implemented the recommendation on March 8, 1994.

    Recommendation: To help ensure that FCA is obtaining the lowest possible price for procurements, the Chairman of the Board, FCA, should direct FCA staff to consistently compare GSA prices to open market prices before purchasing office equipment.

    Agency Affected: Farm Credit Administration

 

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