GSA Nonstores Procurement Program Falls Far Short of Its Objectives

PLRD-82-36: Published: Feb 24, 1982. Publicly Released: Feb 24, 1982.

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GAO reported on the General Services Administration's (GSA) nonstores program which is managed by several GSA organizational elements and provides items not generally available through GSA stores or Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) programs. Although the nonstores program is the smallest of the three GSA procurement programs, its large sales volume warranted detailed examination by GAO to identify opportunities for more efficient and effective management.

GAO found that the nonstores program had fallen short of efficiently and economically procuring commodities for agencies. This was due to the GSA: (1) failure to consolidate customer motor vehicle requirements and achieve the benefits of volume procurement, (2) entry into restrictive interagency procurement agreements, and (3) performance of procurement functions which could be accomplished adequately by its customers. Improved management of the program could result in: (1) savings of millions of dollars each year through greater motor vehicle consolidation, (2) significant reductions in sole-source procurements, (3) more effective contract award procedures to assure reasonable prices, and (4) better use of limited GSA resources by avoiding duplication of existing GSA procurement programs. Federal Property Management Regulations require that at least 75 percent of an agency's total amount of motor vehicle and light truck requirements be submitted to GSA for inclusion in four annual consolidated procurements. In the past 4 years, the GSA automobile consolidation record has varied considerably, ranging from 3 to 55 percent of total procurements. GSA is further hampered by agreements with the Agency for International Development (AID) and the Department of State which require GSA to purchase items on an extensive sole-source basis, which GAO believes could be procured competitively. In their efforts to provide customers with nonstores items, the GSA regions are unnecessarily placing orders for FSS items to be procured through the nonstores program.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GSA does not believe that having only one annual consolidated automobile procurement is realistic. Consequently, GSA will amend the Federal Property Management Regulation to provide for three consolidated procurements starting in fiscal year 1983.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should make only one annual consolidated automobile procurement.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  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 General Services should make only three consolidated procurements a year for light trucks in accordance with the timeframes established by the Federal Property Management Regulation. Further, the GSA should explore the possibility of having only one annual consolidated procurement of light trucks.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: AID and State are providing findings and determinations statements which explain the need to purchase from a certain source. Therefore, the agreements do not have to be modified.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should modify current agreements whereby GSA acts as the purchasing agent for the Agency for International Development and the Department of State and require these agencies to provide GSA with adequate justification for all sole-source purchase requests. These justifications should indicate why competition is not feasible or practical.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GSA does not concur. Rather than reject requisitions, GSA will continue to process them through available option or advise agencies that, except for urgent requirements, the requisitions will be processed in the next consolidation.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should refuse agency requirements not submitted in time for the annual consolidated procurements other than vehicles required on an emergency basis.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  5. 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 General Services should ensure that agencies are aware of the need to meet the consolidated procurement cutoff dates and of the added costs involved in satisfying their motor vehicle requirements when those dates are missed.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  6. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD would not modify the agreement on the grounds that the change would result in nonresponsive supply support. GSA has, and continues to, overcome the problems by changing the method of procurement for high demand items and making supply schedule data available to overseas installations.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should initiate discussions with the Defense Logistics Agency to modify the agreement whereby GSA acts as the procuring agent for Army and Air Force overseas military installations. These modifications should include having military installations, or stateside purchasing offices designated to act on their behalf, procure directly from schedule vendors unless the installations have shown that direct procurement is not feasible or practical; in which case, GSA will process the purchase orders.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  7. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GSA procedures already call for the return of requisitions for schedule items unless the requisitions are submitted by overseas activities that cannot procure the items locally.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should advise domestic agencies that nonstore requisitions for schedule items will be returned unless the agencies have demonstrated inadequate procurement capability.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  8. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GSA is receiving more competition for AID requirements, but this is probably due more to poor economic conditions than GSA efforts.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should explore the reasons for not obtaining sufficient vendor proposals on negotiated procurement solicitations and should use this information to secure adequate future competition.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  9. 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 General Services should, where required, obtain accurate, current, and complete cost and pricing data for all negotiated noncompetitive contracts made on behalf of the AID and the Department of State. Where such data cannot be obtained, the GSA should fully document the decision to waive the cost and pricing data requirements.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  10. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD would not modify the agreement on the grounds that the change would result in nonresponsive supply support. GSA has, and continues to, overcome the problems by changing the method of procurement for high demand items and making supply schedule data available to overseas installations.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should initiate discussions with the Defense Logistics Agency to modify the agreement whereby GSA acts as the procuring agent for Army and Air Force overseas military installations. These modifications should include making sure that only valid requirements which cannot be procured overseas are sent to GSA for processing.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  11. 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 General Services should provide a more realistic timeframe for agencies to submit automobile requirements by delaying the cutoff date from mid-November to at least late December.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  12. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GSA/FSS, rather than the National Automotive Center, will continue to process AID and State motor vehicle requisitions. GSA believes that a breakdown in the mutual cooperation and respect between the parties would be most undesirable.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should require the AID and the Department of State to submit all requests for motor vehicles to the National Automotive Center for competitive procurement.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

 

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