National Defense:

Use of New and Minority-Owned Architectural and Engineering Firms by Selected Army and Navy Activities

PLRD-82-7: Published: Oct 30, 1981. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 1981.

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GAO reviewed the Navy and Army contract award processes for architectural and engineering services. The review was made as a result of allegations from new and minority-owned firms that: (1) architectural and engineering contract awards were confined to a relatively small group of contractors; and (2) new and minority-owned firms had little or no success in being seriously considered for architectural and engineering contract awards.

On the basis of architectural and engineering contracts awarded by two Department of Defense (DOD) activities during fiscal year 1980, it did not appear that such awards were confined to a relatively small group of contractors as was alleged. During this period, 146 different firms shared in the 269 contracts awarded. Further, minority-owned firms received awards in a ratio that was comparable to non-minority-owned firms, and new firms received more than 30 percent of the contracts awarded. GAO interviewed officials in selected firms doing business with the two DOD activities to obtain comments on their experiences. The officials, including those in minority-owned and non-minority owned firms, believed that they had not received sufficient feedback from the DOD activities as to why their proposals had been unsuccessful. They felt that personnel limitations hindered feedback, but that improvements might be possible.

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