GSA Needs To Improve the Management of Its New Item Introductory Schedule Program

PLRD-82-82: Published: Jun 4, 1982. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the General Services Administration's (GSA) New Item Introductory Schedule (NIIS) program to determine whether it is effectively introducing new and improved items into the Federal Supply System (FSS).

GAO found that the NIIS program has several weaknesses which prevent the effective introduction of new and improved items into FSS. These problems exist throughout the NIIS process, from the initial screening of an application to the publication of the product in the schedule of approved items. The failure to assign overall program responsibility and poor program management have contributed to problems in management control, consistent and timely decisions, and interaction with other GSA supply programs and offices.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. 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 GSA should establish a central control point for new item applications within FSS.

    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 GSA should direct FSS to establish guidelines which provide specific criteria for screening and processing new item applications and making decisions on approved items, including followup on items which are transferred to other supply programs. The criteria should provide for: (1) considering the requirements of other FSS supply programs during the approval process; (2) maintaining accurate and complete records for reporting purposes and as a basis for evaluating the effectiveness of the program; (3) the timely processing of applications and awarding of contracts by eliminating duplicative reviews and responding to vendor applications within 90 days; and (4) assigning a separate FSS identification number to each New Item Introductory Schedule item and providing feedback to the business service center on the disposition of applications.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  3. 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 GSA should direct FSS to: (1) update the publication of approved items more frequently to provide users with better information on the items available from the NIIS program; and (2) selectively verify data submitted by NIIS contractors.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

 

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