Army Procurement:

Fort Benjamin Harrison's Commercial Activity Study Should Be Redone or Updated

NSIAD-89-90: Published: Feb 24, 1989. Publicly Released: Feb 24, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the ongoing commercial activity study for base support operations at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, focusing on whether the: (1) study complies with applicable procedures and regulations; and (2) base has gathered sufficient data to permit converting the planned cost-plus-award-fee contract to a fixed-price contract if it determines that action to be advantageous.

GAO found that: (1) the base did not comply with all applicable procedures and regulations, since it did not use current, accurate work-load data to ensure equitable cost comparisons; (2) because the base has not updated the study's work-load data since fiscal year 1985, the data may not accurately reflect the base's requirements; and (3) although the Federal Acquisition Regulation encouraged the use of fixed-price contracts, the base proposed a cost-type contract because it had not collected the data needed to permit fixed-price contracting.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army has in effect adopted the recommendation to modify the existing study before determining whether the support services should be contracted out or retained in-house. However, the basis claimed is realignment of the Fort's mission rather than the GAO report.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commanding General, Fort Benjamin Harrison, to prepare a new or modify the existing commercial activity study in accordance with Office of Management and Budget and Army regulations, using work-load data that accurately project the work likely to be required during the period under consideration.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army concurred with the recommendation. Although the collection of work load data may eventually permit the use of a fixed-price contract, there is little chance GAO could claim this as a direct result of its work.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commanding General, Fort Benjamin Harrison, to begin to collect the work-load information needed to permit the award of a fixed-price contract in the event that the Army determines that this method of contracting is advantageous to the government.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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