Panama Canal Commission Procurement and Contracting

NSIAD-83-1: Published: Jul 29, 1983. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 1983.

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GAO reviewed the adequacy of the Panama Canal Commission's procedures for buying goods and services and how well these procedures are being applied.

GAO found that the Commission generally followed acceptable procedures when procuring by formal advertising. However, in procuring by negotiation, the Commission's practices did not, in most cases, conform to acceptable procedures for Government agencies. As a result, assurances were lacking that prices negotiated and paid by the Commission were fair and reasonable. In response to an Executive Order, the Commission appointed a procurement executive in November 1982. However, the designated procurement executive is currently serving on a part-time basis, his authority and responsibility have not been established, and procurement reforms called for in the Executive Order have not been instituted.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of the Panama Canal Commission should ensure that the position of Procurement Executive is made and maintained independent of line authority within the Commission and that the Procurement Executive be made accountable only to the head of the agency.

    Agency Affected: Panama Canal Commission

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of the Panama Canal Commission should ensure that the matters discussed in this report are included on the agenda of the Procurement Executive for consideration, study, and resolution.

    Agency Affected: Panama Canal Commission

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of the Panama Canal Commission should direct the General Auditor of the Panama Canal Commission, after passage of a reasonable length of time, to reexamine the Commission's performance in ensuring fairness and reasonableness of prices for negotiated procurements.

    Agency Affected: Panama Canal Commission

 

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