Bilingual Education:

Research and Evaluation Contracts

HRD-87-64: Published: May 18, 1987. Publicly Released: May 18, 1987.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed 34 contracts related to bilingual education that the Department of Education awarded during fiscal years 1982 through 1985.

GAO found that: (1) the total value of the contracts, as originally awarded, was $14.7 million but, as modified, the contracts totalled $37.8 million at the end of fiscal year 1985; (2) Education awarded two of the contracts noncompetitively and one with less than full competition; (3) Education improperly modified one contract twice, because the contract did not include a firm option price; (4) Education properly used task order contracts in three instances; (5) there was no basis to question Education's use of small business set-asides in 15 of the contracts; (6) while Education awarded 17 of the contracts within 2 weeks of the end of a fiscal year, in each instance it began the procurement process well in advance and followed applicable regulations and guidance; (7) it could not draw any conclusions about technical proposal scoring because only four technical evaluators had any opportunity to evaluate more than one proposal from a single offerer; (8) Education properly modified two solicitations before bid opening; (9) while Education failed to obligate $18.9 million over the period in question, it placed $16.8 million in escrow in accordance with a court order related to ongoing litigation; and (10) it dismissed or denied eight protests in connection with the reviewed contracts.

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