Federal Regulations Need To Be Revised To Fully Realize the Purposes of the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984

OGC-85-14: Published: Aug 21, 1985. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 1985.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed whether the changes made to various federal regulations conformed with the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984, and obtained information on how many agencies have issued their own acquisition regulations and how many have revised them based on the act.

GAO found that: (1) some Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provisions are inconsistent with congressional intent, with respect to exceptions to competitive procedures, justifications for exceptions to the competitive procedures, publicizing proposed contract actions, reporting contract awards to the government database, and notifying unsuccessful offerers; (2) some FAR provisions could better meet the objectives of the act if they gave agency heads and contracting officers more discretion in requiring contractors to submit certified cost or pricing data and strengthened the requirements relating to procurement planning; (3) some Federal Information Resources Management Regulation (FIRMR) references to FAR provisions are inconsistent with the act's intent; (4) FIRMR has not been revised to reflect congressional intent regarding the award of follow-on contracts under the act's first exception to competitive procedures; and (5) as of May 1985, 13 of the 21 agencies and 3 subagencies that have acquisition regulations implementing or supplementing FAR have not revised them to conform to the act or the circular that amends FAR.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Defense (DOD) agreed with most of the recommendation, but disagreed with the interpretation of congressional intent. Changes were published in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) should amend FAR 6.302-1 to provide that contracts based on acceptance of unsolicited proposals may be considered to be "available from only one source" only if the source has submitted an unsolicited research proposal that demonstrates a unique and innovative concept the substance of which: (1) is not otherwise available to the United States; and (2) does not resemble the substance of a pending competitive procurement. FAR 6.302-1 should also provide that this authority is strictly limited to state of the art proposals which represent advanced scientific knowledge and, even under the conditions cited above, agencies should seek proposals, wherever possible, from competing researchers to ensure that the best proposal available is selected.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OFPP agreed with most of this recommendation but disagreed with the interpretation of congressional intent. Changes were published in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) should amend FAR 6.302-1 to provide that contracts based on acceptance of unsolicited proposals may be considered to be "available from only one source" only if the source has submitted an unsolicited research proposal that demonstrates a unique and innovative concept the substance of which: (1) is not otherwise available to the United States; and (2) does not resemble the substance of a pending competitive procurement. FAR 6.302-1 should also provide that this authority is strictly limited to state of the art proposals which represent advanced scientific knowledge and, even under the conditions cited above, agencies should seek proposals, wherever possible, from competing researchers to ensure that the best proposal available is selected.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GSA agreed with most of the recommendation, but disagreed with the interpretation of congressional intent. Changes were published in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) should amend FAR 6.302-1 to provide that contracts based on acceptance of unsolicited proposals may be considered to be "available from only one source" only if the source has submitted an unsolicited research proposal that demonstrates a unique and innovative concept the substance of which: (1) is not otherwise available to the United States; and (2) does not resemble the substance of a pending competitive procurement. FAR 6.302-1 should also provide that this authority is strictly limited to state of the art proposals which represent advanced scientific knowledge and, even under the conditions cited above, agencies should seek proposals, wherever possible, from competing researchers to ensure that the best proposal available is selected.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: NASA agreed with most of this recommendation, but disagreed with the interpretation of congressional intent. Changes were published in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) should amend FAR 6.302-1 to provide that contracts based on acceptance of unsolicited proposals may be considered to be "available from only one source" only if the source has submitted an unsolicited research proposal that demonstrates a unique and innovative concept the substance of which: (1) is not otherwise available to the United States; and (2) does not resemble the substance of a pending competitive procurement. FAR 6.302-1 should also provide that this authority is strictly limited to state of the art proposals which represent advanced scientific knowledge and, even under the conditions cited above, agencies should seek proposals, wherever possible, from competing researchers to ensure that the best proposal available is selected.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD agreed with the recommendation and published the changes in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1 to provide that follow-on contracts may be deemed to be available from only the original source and may be procured through procedures other than competitive procedures only when the follow-on contract is for the continued development or production of a major system or highly specialized equipment, and it is likely that award to a source other than the original source would result in: (1) substantial duplication of cost to the government which is not expected to be recovered through competition; or (2) unacceptable delays in fulfilling the executive agency's needs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OFPP agreed with this recommendation and published the changes in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1 to provide that follow-on contracts may be deemed to be available from only the original source and may be procured through procedures other than competitive procedures only when the follow-on contract is for the continued development or production of a major system or highly specialized equipment, and it is likely that award to a source other than the original source would result in: (1) substantial duplication of cost to the government which is not expected to be recovered through competition; or (2) unacceptable delays in fulfilling the executive agency's needs.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GSA agreed with the recommendation and published the changes in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1 to provide that follow-on contracts may be deemed to be available from only the original source and may be procured through procedures other than competitive procedures only when the follow-on contract is for the continued development or production of a major system or highly specialized equipment, and it is likely that award to a source other than the original source would result in: (1) substantial duplication of cost to the government which is not expected to be recovered through competition; or (2) unacceptable delays in fulfilling the executive agency's needs.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: NASA agreed with this recommendation and published the changes in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1 to provide that follow-on contracts may be deemed to be available from only the original source and may be procured through procedures other than competitive procedures only when the follow-on contract is for the continued development or production of a major system or highly specialized equipment, and it is likely that award to a source other than the original source would result in: (1) substantial duplication of cost to the government which is not expected to be recovered through competition; or (2) unacceptable delays in fulfilling the executive agency's needs.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  9. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD disagreed with the interpretation of congressional intent.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1 to provide that this authority is limited to follow-on contracts awarded: (1) after an original competitive award; and (2) if the basis for the decision is "substantial duplication of cost to the government which is not expected to be recovered through competition," after a cost/benefit analysis has been performed which determines and documents the decision.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  10. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: OFPP disagreed with the interpretation of congressional intent.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1 to provide that this authority is limited to follow-on contracts awarded: (1) after an original competitive award; and (2) if the basis for the decision is "substantial duplication of cost to the government which is not expected to be recovered through competition," after a cost/benefit analysis has been performed which determines and documents the decision.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  11. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GSA disagreed with the GAO interpretation of congressional intent.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1 to provide that this authority is limited to follow-on contracts awarded: (1) after an original competitive award; and (2) if the basis for the decision is "substantial duplication of cost to the government which is not expected to be recovered through competition," after a cost/benefit analysis has been performed which determines and documents the decision.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  12. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: NASA disagreed with the interpretation of congressional intent.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1 to provide that this authority is limited to follow-on contracts awarded: (1) after an original competitive award; and (2) if the basis for the decision is "substantial duplication of cost to the government which is not expected to be recovered through competition," after a cost/benefit analysis has been performed which determines and documents the decision.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  13. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The FAR was revised and published in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1(b)(4), which relates to limited rights in data, patent rights, copyrights, and other circumstances, to also require that "no other type of supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements."

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  14. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The FAR was revised and published in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1(b)(4), which relates to limited rights in data, patent rights, copyrights, and other circumstances, to also require that "no other type of supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements."

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  15. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The FAR was revised and published in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1(b)(4), which relates to limited rights in data, patent rights, copyrights, and other circumstances, to also require that "no other type of supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements."

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  16. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The FAR was revised and published in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1(b)(4), which relates to limited rights in data, patent rights, copyrights, and other circumstances, to also require that "no other type of supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements."

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  17. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD did not concur with the interpretation of the conference report.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1(c)(2) to provide guidance regarding what constitutes "considering" responses to the required Commerce Business Daily notices of proposed contract actions. The guidance should indicate that each response should be given sufficient consideration to make an informed judgment on whether the offerer might be capable of satisfying the government's need.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  18. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: OFPP did not concur with the interpretation of the conference report.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1(c)(2) to provide guidance regarding what constitutes "considering" responses to the required Commerce Business Daily notices of proposed contract actions. The guidance should indicate that each response should be given sufficient consideration to make an informed judgment on whether the offerer might be capable of satisfying the government's need.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  19. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GSA did not concur with the interpretation of the conference report.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1(c)(2) to provide guidance regarding what constitutes "considering" responses to the required Commerce Business Daily notices of proposed contract actions. The guidance should indicate that each response should be given sufficient consideration to make an informed judgment on whether the offerer might be capable of satisfying the government's need.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  20. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: NASA did not concur with the interpretation of the conference report.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.302-1(c)(2) to provide guidance regarding what constitutes "considering" responses to the required Commerce Business Daily notices of proposed contract actions. The guidance should indicate that each response should be given sufficient consideration to make an informed judgment on whether the offerer might be capable of satisfying the government's need.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  21. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD did not agree with GAO, but it partially corrected the FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.303-1(c) to preclude justifications under the first six exceptions to full and open competition from being made on a class basis. Also, FAR 6.304(c), which states requirements relating to class justifications, should be deleted.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  22. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OFPP did not agree with this recommendation, but it partially corrected the FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.303-1(c) to preclude justifications under the first six exceptions to full and open competition from being made on a class basis. Also, FAR 6.304(c), which states requirements relating to class justifications, should be deleted.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  23. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GSA did not agree with GAO, but it partially corrected FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.303-1(c) to preclude justifications under the first six exceptions to full and open competition from being made on a class basis. Also, FAR 6.304(c), which states requirements relating to class justifications, should be deleted.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  24. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: NASA did not agree with this recommendation, but it partially corrected the FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.303-1(c) to preclude justifications under the first six exceptions to full and open competition from being made on a class basis. Also, FAR 6.304(c), which states requirements relating to class justifications, should be deleted.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  25. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD did not agree with this recommendation. It believes this requirement has already been covered.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.303 to require agencies acquiring goods and services from another agency's sole-source contract to justify the sole-source procurements themselves.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  26. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: OFPP did not agree with this recommendation. It believes that this requirement was already covered.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.303 to require agencies acquiring goods and services from another agency's sole-source contract to justify the sole-source procurements themselves.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  27. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GSA did not agree with this recommendation. It believes that this requirement has already been covered.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.303 to require agencies acquiring goods and services from another agency's sole-source contract to justify the sole-source procurements themselves.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  28. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: NASA did not agree with this recommendation. It believes that this requirement was already covered.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 6.303 to require agencies acquiring goods and services from another agency's sole-source contract to justify the sole-source procurements themselves.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  29. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD did not fully agree with this recommendation, but it partially revised the FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.202(a)(1) so that the exception to the requirements to publicize proposed contract actions in the Commerce Business Daily is narrower and conforms to statutory requirements. That is, a notice should not be required if the notice would disclose the agency's needs and the disclosure of such needs would compromise national security. FAR should also be revised to require each contracting agency to establish procedures for: (1) determining whether the disclosure of particular classified information in such notices would compromise national security; and (2) taking the steps necessary to have the information properly declassified before its disclosure.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  30. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OFPP did not fully agree with this recommendation, but it partially revised the FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.202(a)(1) so that the exception to the requirements to publicize proposed contract actions in the Commerce Business Daily is narrower and conforms to statutory requirements. That is, a notice should not be required if the notice would disclose the agency's needs and the disclosure of such needs would compromise national security. FAR should also be revised to require each contracting agency to establish procedures for: (1) determining whether the disclosure of particular classified information in such notices would compromise national security; and (2) taking the steps necessary to have the information properly declassified before its disclosure.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  31. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GSA did not fully agree with this recommendation, but partially revised FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.202(a)(1) so that the exception to the requirements to publicize proposed contract actions in the Commerce Business Daily is narrower and conforms to statutory requirements. That is, a notice should not be required if the notice would disclose the agency's needs and the disclosure of such needs would compromise national security. FAR should also be revised to require each contracting agency to establish procedures for: (1) determining whether the disclosure of particular classified information in such notices would compromise national security; and (2) taking the steps necessary to have the information properly declassified before its disclosure.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  32. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: NASA did not fully agree with this recommendation, but it partially revised the FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.202(a)(1) so that the exception to the requirements to publicize proposed contract actions in the Commerce Business Daily is narrower and conforms to statutory requirements. That is, a notice should not be required if the notice would disclose the agency's needs and the disclosure of such needs would compromise national security. FAR should also be revised to require each contracting agency to establish procedures for: (1) determining whether the disclosure of particular classified information in such notices would compromise national security; and (2) taking the steps necessary to have the information properly declassified before its disclosure.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  33. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD agreed with this recommendation and made appropriate changes to the FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.202(a)(5) to provide that a notice is not required if the procurement is for utility services, other than telecommunication services, and only one source is available.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  34. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OFPP agreed with this recommendation and made appropriate changes to the FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.202(a)(5) to provide that a notice is not required if the procurement is for utility services, other than telecommunication services, and only one source is available.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  35. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GSA agreed with this recommendation and made appropriate changes to FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.202(a)(5) to provide that a notice is not required if the procurement is for utility services, other than telecommunication services, and only one source is available.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  36. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: NASA agreed with this recommendation and made appropriate changes to the FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.202(a)(5) to provide that a notice is not required if the procurement is for utility services, other than telecommunication services, and only one source is available.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  37. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD agreed with this recommendation and made appropriate changes to the FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 502(a)(7) to provide that a notice is not required if the proposed procurement would result from acceptance of any unsolicited proposal that demonstrates a unique and innovative research concept, and the publication of any notice of such unsolicited research proposal would disclose the originality of thought or innovativeness of the proposal or would disclose proprietary information associated with the proposal.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  38. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OFPP agreed with this recommendation and made appropriate changes to the FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 502(a)(7) to provide that a notice is not required if the proposed procurement would result from acceptance of any unsolicited proposal that demonstrates a unique and innovative research concept, and the publication of any notice of such unsolicited research proposal would disclose the originality of thought or innovativeness of the proposal or would disclose proprietary information associated with the proposal.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  39. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GSA agreed with this recommendation and made appropriate changes to FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 502(a)(7) to provide that a notice is not required if the proposed procurement would result from acceptance of any unsolicited proposal that demonstrates a unique and innovative research concept, and the publication of any notice of such unsolicited research proposal would disclose the originality of thought or innovativeness of the proposal or would disclose proprietary information associated with the proposal.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  40. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: NASA agreed with this recommendation and made appropriate changes to the FAR in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 502(a)(7) to provide that a notice is not required if the proposed procurement would result from acceptance of any unsolicited proposal that demonstrates a unique and innovative research concept, and the publication of any notice of such unsolicited research proposal would disclose the originality of thought or innovativeness of the proposal or would disclose proprietary information associated with the proposal.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  41. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The FAR was revised in FAC-84-13 to clarify the specific overseas situations when a synopsis is not required.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.201(b) and 5.205(c)(2) to delete the current exemptions from publicizing proposed contract actions that are to be made outside the United States, its possessions, and Puerto Rico.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  42. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The FAR was revised in FAC-84-13 to clarify the specific overseas situations when a synopsis is not required.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.201(b) and 5.205(c)(2) to delete the current exemptions from publicizing proposed contract actions that are to be made outside the United States, its possessions, and Puerto Rico.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  43. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR was revised in FAC-84-13 to clarify the specific overseas situations when a synopsis is not required.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.201(b) and 5.205(c)(2) to delete the current exemptions from publicizing proposed contract actions that are to be made outside the United States, its possessions, and Puerto Rico.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  44. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The FAR was revised in FAC-84-13 to clarify the specific overseas situations when a synopsis is not required.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.201(b) and 5.205(c)(2) to delete the current exemptions from publicizing proposed contract actions that are to be made outside the United States, its possessions, and Puerto Rico.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  45. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The FAR was revised in FAC-84-13 to reflect this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.07 to require notices of proposed contract actions to also state whether an offerer must meet a qualification requirement to be eligible for award.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  46. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The FAR was revised in FAC-84-13 to reflect this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.07 to require notices of proposed contract actions to also state whether an offerer must meet a qualification requirement to be eligible for award.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  47. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR was revised in FAC-84-13 to reflect this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.07 to require notices of proposed contract actions to also state whether an offerer must meet a qualification requirement to be eligible for award.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  48. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The FAR was revised in FAC-84-13 to reflect this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 5.07 to require notices of proposed contract actions to also state whether an offerer must meet a qualification requirement to be eligible for award.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  49. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR subpart 4.6 was revised in FAC-84-13 to adopt this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 4.6, or the Federal Procurement Data System reporting manual to which it refers should be revised, to incorporate the requirements of section 19 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, which were added by section 2732(a) of the competition act. These requirements: (1) specify the information that executive agencies are required to collect and transmit to the Federal Procurement Data System; and (2) provide for a 5-year retention period.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  50. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR subpart 4.6 was revised in FAC-84-13 to adopt this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 4.6, or the Federal Procurement Data System reporting manual to which it refers should be revised, to incorporate the requirements of section 19 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, which were added by section 2732(a) of the competition act. These requirements: (1) specify the information that executive agencies are required to collect and transmit to the Federal Procurement Data System; and (2) provide for a 5-year retention period.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  51. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR subpart 4.6 was revised in FAC-84-13 to adopt this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 4.6, or the Federal Procurement Data System reporting manual to which it refers should be revised, to incorporate the requirements of section 19 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, which were added by section 2732(a) of the competition act. These requirements: (1) specify the information that executive agencies are required to collect and transmit to the Federal Procurement Data System; and (2) provide for a 5-year retention period.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  52. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR subpart 4.6 was revised in FAC-84-13 to adopt this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 4.6, or the Federal Procurement Data System reporting manual to which it refers should be revised, to incorporate the requirements of section 19 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, which were added by section 2732(a) of the competition act. These requirements: (1) specify the information that executive agencies are required to collect and transmit to the Federal Procurement Data System; and (2) provide for a 5-year retention period.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  53. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD disagreed with the recommended changes and plans no further action.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR subpart 4.6, or the Federal Procurement Data System reporting manual and Standard Form 279, which is used to collect information on contract actions, to require information that must be collected with respect to each procurement carried out using competitive procedures to be categorized separately from other procurements using competitive procedures if the procurement results in the submission of a bid or proposal by "only one responsible source."

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  54. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: OFPP disagreed with the recommended changes. It plans no further action.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR subpart 4.6, or the Federal Procurement Data System reporting manual and Standard Form 279, which is used to collect information on contract actions, to require information that must be collected with respect to each procurement carried out using competitive procedures to be categorized separately from other procurements using competitive procedures if the procurement results in the submission of a bid or proposal by "only one responsible source."

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  55. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GSA disagreed with the recommended changes and plans no further action. Other FAR changes were made in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR subpart 4.6, or the Federal Procurement Data System reporting manual and Standard Form 279, which is used to collect information on contract actions, to require information that must be collected with respect to each procurement carried out using competitive procedures to be categorized separately from other procurements using competitive procedures if the procurement results in the submission of a bid or proposal by "only one responsible source."

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  56. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: NASA disagreed with the recommended changes. It plans no further action.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR subpart 4.6, or the Federal Procurement Data System reporting manual and Standard Form 279, which is used to collect information on contract actions, to require information that must be collected with respect to each procurement carried out using competitive procedures to be categorized separately from other procurements using competitive procedures if the procurement results in the submission of a bid or proposal by "only one responsible source."

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  57. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR 10.002(b) was revised in FAC-84-13 to adopt this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 10.002(b) to provide that, whenever practical, agencies should tell contractors what the government needs in functional terms.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  58. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR 10.002(b) was revised in FAC-84-13 to adopt this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 10.002(b) to provide that, whenever practical, agencies should tell contractors what the government needs in functional terms.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  59. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR 10.002(b) was revised in FAC-84-13 to adopt this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 10.002(b) to provide that, whenever practical, agencies should tell contractors what the government needs in functional terms.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  60. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR 10.002(b) was revised in FAC-84-13 to adopt this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 10.002(b) to provide that, whenever practical, agencies should tell contractors what the government needs in functional terms.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  61. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR 15.1001(a) was amended in FAC-84-13 to adopt this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 15.1001(a) to require notice to unsuccessful offerers in all situations where contracts are awarded based on competitive proposals.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  62. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR 15.1001(a) was amended by FAC-84-13 to adopt this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 15.1001(a) to require notice to unsuccessful offerers in all situations where contracts are awarded based on competitive proposals.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  63. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR 15.1001(a) was amended in FAC-84-13 to adopt this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 15.1001(a) to require notice to unsuccessful offerers in all situations where contracts are awarded based on competitive proposals.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  64. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAR 15.1001(a) was amended by FAC-84-13 to adopt this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 15.1001(a) to require notice to unsuccessful offerers in all situations where contracts are awarded based on competitive proposals.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  65. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD disagreed with the recommended changes and plans no further action.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 15.804-2(a)(ii) and (iv) to require certified cost or pricing data before modification of any contract and the subcontracts identified in that provision, when the modification involves a price adjustment expected to exceed $100,000, "or such lesser amount as may be prescribed by the agency head."

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  66. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: OFPP disagreed with the recommended changes. No further action is planned.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 15.804-2(a)(ii) and (iv) to require certified cost or pricing data before modification of any contract and the subcontracts identified in that provision, when the modification involves a price adjustment expected to exceed $100,000, "or such lesser amount as may be prescribed by the agency head."

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  67. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GSA disagreed with the recommended changes and plans no further action.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 15.804-2(a)(ii) and (iv) to require certified cost or pricing data before modification of any contract and the subcontracts identified in that provision, when the modification involves a price adjustment expected to exceed $100,000, "or such lesser amount as may be prescribed by the agency head."

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  68. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: NASA disagreed with the recommended changes. It plans no further action.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 15.804-2(a)(ii) and (iv) to require certified cost or pricing data before modification of any contract and the subcontracts identified in that provision, when the modification involves a price adjustment expected to exceed $100,000, "or such lesser amount as may be prescribed by the agency head."

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  69. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD disagreed with this recommendation and plans no further action.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 15.804-2(a)(2) to provide more discretion to contracting officers to obtain certified cost or pricing data on awards under $100,000 when they decide it is necessary to ensure that prices are fair and reasonable. This includes permitting contracting officers to require certified cost or pricing data on awards of $25,000, or less.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  70. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: OFPP disagreed with this recommendation. No further action is planned.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 15.804-2(a)(2) to provide more discretion to contracting officers to obtain certified cost or pricing data on awards under $100,000 when they decide it is necessary to ensure that prices are fair and reasonable. This includes permitting contracting officers to require certified cost or pricing data on awards of $25,000, or less.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  71. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GSA disagreed with this recommendation and plans no further action.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 15.804-2(a)(2) to provide more discretion to contracting officers to obtain certified cost or pricing data on awards under $100,000 when they decide it is necessary to ensure that prices are fair and reasonable. This includes permitting contracting officers to require certified cost or pricing data on awards of $25,000, or less.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  72. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: NASA disagreed with this recommendation. It plans no further action.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR 15.804-2(a)(2) to provide more discretion to contracting officers to obtain certified cost or pricing data on awards under $100,000 when they decide it is necessary to ensure that prices are fair and reasonable. This includes permitting contracting officers to require certified cost or pricing data on awards of $25,000, or less.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  73. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD believes the recommended changes are unnecessary. No action is planned.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR part 7 to require agency heads to establish procurement planning systems and procedures that include: (1) procurement procedures providing leadtime and cutoff dates for preparing solicitations, obtaining and evaluating bids or proposals, making preaward surveys, performing contract audits, negotiating, and making contract awards in an orderly manner; (2) procedures for developing, monitoring, and updating procurement plans; and (3) review procedures for last-quarter spending.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  74. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: OFPP believes that the recommended changes are unnecessary. No further action is planned.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR part 7 to require agency heads to establish procurement planning systems and procedures that include: (1) procurement procedures providing leadtime and cutoff dates for preparing solicitations, obtaining and evaluating bids or proposals, making preaward surveys, performing contract audits, negotiating, and making contract awards in an orderly manner; (2) procedures for developing, monitoring, and updating procurement plans; and (3) review procedures for last-quarter spending.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  75. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GSA believes that the recommended changes are unnecessary. No action is planned.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR part 7 to require agency heads to establish procurement planning systems and procedures that include: (1) procurement procedures providing leadtime and cutoff dates for preparing solicitations, obtaining and evaluating bids or proposals, making preaward surveys, performing contract audits, negotiating, and making contract awards in an orderly manner; (2) procedures for developing, monitoring, and updating procurement plans; and (3) review procedures for last-quarter spending.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  76. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: NASA believes that the recommended changes are unnecessary. No action is planned.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR part 7 to require agency heads to establish procurement planning systems and procedures that include: (1) procurement procedures providing leadtime and cutoff dates for preparing solicitations, obtaining and evaluating bids or proposals, making preaward surveys, performing contract audits, negotiating, and making contract awards in an orderly manner; (2) procedures for developing, monitoring, and updating procurement plans; and (3) review procedures for last-quarter spending.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  77. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD believes the recommended changes are unnecessary. No further action is planned.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR part 7 to state that a prime objective of these procedures should be to ensure that the efforts of all personnel responsible for the procurement of property and services are coordinated, as early as practicable, to obtain required items of requisite quality, on time, and at the lowest price. Consistent with that objective is the responsibility to eliminate inefficiencies normally associated with hurried or unnecessary end-of-year procurements and to award contracts on a competitive basis as required by applicable laws and regulations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  78. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: OFPP believes that the recommended changes are unnecessary. No further action is planned.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR part 7 to state that a prime objective of these procedures should be to ensure that the efforts of all personnel responsible for the procurement of property and services are coordinated, as early as practicable, to obtain required items of requisite quality, on time, and at the lowest price. Consistent with that objective is the responsibility to eliminate inefficiencies normally associated with hurried or unnecessary end-of-year procurements and to award contracts on a competitive basis as required by applicable laws and regulations.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Office of Federal Procurement Policy

  79. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GSA believes that the recommended changes are unnecessary. No further action is planned.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR part 7 to state that a prime objective of these procedures should be to ensure that the efforts of all personnel responsible for the procurement of property and services are coordinated, as early as practicable, to obtain required items of requisite quality, on time, and at the lowest price. Consistent with that objective is the responsibility to eliminate inefficiencies normally associated with hurried or unnecessary end-of-year procurements and to award contracts on a competitive basis as required by applicable laws and regulations.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  80. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: NASA believes that the recommended changes are unnecessary. No further action is planned.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, NASA, and OFPP should amend FAR part 7 to state that a prime objective of these procedures should be to ensure that the efforts of all personnel responsible for the procurement of property and services are coordinated, as early as practicable, to obtain required items of requisite quality, on time, and at the lowest price. Consistent with that objective is the responsibility to eliminate inefficiencies normally associated with hurried or unnecessary end-of-year procurements and to award contracts on a competitive basis as required by applicable laws and regulations.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  81. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FIRMR references to FAR were revised in FAC-84-13.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should take action to promptly resolve the problem of FIRMR references to FAR provisions that are inconsistent with the act, as discussed in chapter 2 of this report.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  82. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GSA published a FIRMR amendment in March 1986, now located in title XI, 201-11.002-2, which satisfies this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should revise FIRMR to state that follow-on contracts should not be used to perpetuate any contract that involves obsolete or outmoded facilities, systems, or processes.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  83. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: This recommendation was enacted into law, P.L. 99-445, and implemented by GSA on July 1, 1985, by amendment 4, now located in title 41, 201-11.002-1.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should revise FIRMR to require: (1) the use of brand-name-or-equal purchase descriptions to be justified as restrictive specifications; and (2) agencies to install effective management procedures or controls to ensure that use of the more restrictive types of specifications, such as compatibility-limited and brand-name-or-equal, does not unnecessarily restrict competition.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  84. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: USIA did not revise its acquisition regulations, but implemented actions and issued instructions detailing CICA requirements. Two other agencies, the Departments of Transportation and State, are in final stages of revising their regulations.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, State, Transportation, and the Interior, and the heads of the Department of Justice, Federal Emergency Management Agency, International Trade Commission, National Science Foundation, U.S. Information Agency (USIA), and the Veterans Administration should take prompt action to revise their acquisition regulations to conform to the competition act.

    Agency Affected: Government-Wide

  85. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AID officials are considering repealing the agency's alternative source selection procedures, but have not done so yet. AIDAR was not revised, and probably will not be in the near future.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of the Agency for International Development (AID) should revise AID Acquisition Regulation 715.613-70 and 71 to remove the restrictions to full and open competition for all acquisitions other than those specifically authorized by statute and bring the regulations into conformity with the competition act.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  86. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: PHS published revised subagency regulations in the Federal Register on June 5, 1986.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Interior, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury should direct appropriate officials in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Public Health Service (PHS), and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, respectively, to take prompt action to either revise the subagency acquisition regulations to conform to the competition act or rescind them.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  87. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GAO has no information on the actions taken in response to this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Interior, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury should direct appropriate officials in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Public Health Service (PHS), and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, respectively, to take prompt action to either revise the subagency acquisition regulations to conform to the competition act or rescind them.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  88. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Treasury revised the circular to conform with the act.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Interior, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury should direct appropriate officials in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Public Health Service (PHS), and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, respectively, to take prompt action to either revise the subagency acquisition regulations to conform to the competition act or rescind them.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

 

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