DOD Procurement:

Cost-Per-Copy Service Can Reduce Copying Costs

NSIAD-90-276: Published: Sep 28, 1990. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the viability of the cost-per-copy (CPC) service concept, focusing on the Department of Defense's (DOD) and the General Services Administration's (GSA) use of CPC.

GAO found that: (1) several military components purchased CPC services, but the terms and conditions varied by contract; (2) DOD and GSA did not provide agencies with guidance on the factors to consider in establishing contract terms; (3) Army and Navy cost feasibility studies concluded that conversion to CPC service significantly reduced copying costs; (4) DOD and GSA guidance for conducting cost feasibility studies was inadequate; (5) military officials perceived numerous advantages and disadvantages associated with CPC service; (6) DOD and GSA could further expand their CPC services within military departments and across agency lines; (7) DOD and GSA did not have a central source of information on existing CPC service contracts to identify CPC service availability; (8) industry views on the government's use of CPC ranged from ready acceptance of the concept to a lack of interest in participating in future contracts; and (9) copier firms' representatives and industry associations identified suggestions that they believed could improve CPC service for the government.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The action officer has been assigned. DOD and GSA jointly studied the implication of the various contract terms. GSA developed a federal property management regulation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of General Services should jointly study the implications of various CPC contract terms, particularly with regard to the number of option years, the number and ranges of production volume bands, and vendor-furnished supply and maintenance requirements. Guidance should be based on procurement and administration of CPC service experiences of the military departments, GSA, and other civil agencies. DOD and GSA should use the resulting information to provide guidance for agencies to use in establishing terms for their specific contracts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: A revised regulation was drafted, reviewed, and approved by OMB during June 1993 and published in the Federal Register during July 1993 to solicit other comments.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of General Services should jointly study the implications of various CPC contract terms, particularly with regard to the number of option years, the number and ranges of production volume bands, and vendor-furnished supply and maintenance requirements. Guidance should be based on procurement and administration of CPC service experiences of the military departments, GSA, and other civil agencies. DOD and GSA should use the resulting information to provide guidance for agencies to use in establishing terms for their specific contracts.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD issued a memorandum in October 1989 that included the cost-per-copy guidelines from the Chairman, Subcommittee on Readiness, House Committee on Armed Services.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy to use CPC service as a procurement option along with other traditional options and select its use when it is the most economical to the government.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD issued guidance for incorporating certain cost-per-copy terms in single vendor contracts.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of General Services should identify opportunities to competitively award single vendor contracts for leased and purchased copiers that include terms similar to those in CPC service contracts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Revised terms are in the copier standard solicitation document.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of General Services should identify opportunities to competitively award single vendor contracts for leased and purchased copiers that include terms similar to those in CPC service contracts.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Instructions on how to obtain information on contracts are included on the computer bulletin board. Contract information is to be published. Various methods were used to distribute the source for cost-per-copy contract information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should publish and distribute catalogs and price lists to government copier managers to help them identify the availability of CPC service.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Office of the Secretary of Defense issued guidelines to perform the required cost feasibility studies.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force to perform the required cost feasibility studies, including all procurement options, ensure that cost feasibility studies and cost reduction computations are performed on a copier-by-copier basis considering all relevant cost factors, and retain the studies to support the procurement action.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD directed the services and agencies to incorporate these guidelines in their regulations or directives.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy to incorporate DOD recently distributed guidelines in the military departments' regulations or operating directives.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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