Contracting Out:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Central Library

RCED-87-184: Published: Aug 6, 1987. Publicly Released: Aug 13, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) decision to contract for the operation of its Central Library to determine: (1) if the process NOAA used complied with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) procedures; (2) if the concerns NOAA employees raised had merit; and (3) the legality of contracting for the library's operation with a U.S. subsidiary of a foreign company.

GAO found that: (1) the determination to contract generally complied with OMB procedures; (2) although NOAA based its cost estimate for continued government operation of the library on a different scope of work than the private sector bids, the variance did not materially affect the decision to contract; (3) there was no legal prohibition of a U.S. subsidiary of a foreign company operating the library; and (4) since the library collection contains no classified information, restrictions regarding access to the collection for national security reasons are not necessary.

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