Acquisition Reform:

Implementation of Key Aspects of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994

NSIAD-98-81: Published: Mar 9, 1998. Publicly Released: Mar 9, 1998.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the effectiveness of actions taken to implement the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) of 1994, focusing on whether selected federal organizations were: (1) reducing unique purchasing requirements; (2) increasing the use of simplified acquisition procedures; and (3) obtaining goods and services faster while reducing in-house procedures.

GAO noted that: (1) no uniform procurement data were being collected centrally to adequately assess whether FASA's purposes were being achieved; (2) data for each measure were not always available for the eight federal organizations; (3) accordingly, GAO's analyses had variations; (4) certain organizations had introduced acquisition streamlining initiatives before FASA's implementation, and they had several years of data available for some measures; (5) for other measures, only one year of data was available, and that provides a baseline for comparing subsequent years' data; (6) despite limitations, GAO's measures indicate that the organizations it reviewed were working toward achieving key FASA purposes; (7) to reach more meaningful conclusions on the extent to which these key FASA purposes are being achieved, additional data would have to be collected and examined for subsequent fiscal years; and (8) the following is a summary of results linked to key FASA purposes: (a) reduce unique purchasing requirements; (b) requests for submission of cost or pricing data decreased at two of three Department of Defense (DOD) locations, while little change was noted DOD-wide; (c) sufficient information was not available to determine whether acquisition of commercial items had increased; (d) increase use of simplified acquisition procedures; (e) use of simplified acquisition procedures, including the use of purchase cards, increased at most locations; (f) obtain goods and services faster and reduce in-house purchasing cost; (g) the number of bid protests declined at most locations; (h) the time needed to award a contract had generally decreased, thereby expediting the purchases of goods and services; (i) sufficient data were not available to make a definitive observation regarding in-house purchasing costs; and (j) additional data would have to be available and examined for subsequent fiscal years.

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