Federal Research:

Information on Fees for Selected Federally Funded Research and Development Centers

RCED-96-31FS: Published: Dec 8, 1995. Publicly Released: Jan 11, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the fees paid by the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for managing their research and development (R&D) centers, focusing on the: (1) regulations governing fees; (2) annual amounts and purposes of the fees paid during fiscal year (FY) 1994; (3) uses that DOE contractors made of their funds during FY 1994; and (4) effect of 1994 contract reforms on fees for DOE centers.

GAO found that: (1) although DOD has specific regulations for its centers' fees, DOE follows its operation and management contractor regulations, and NASA uses the Federal Aquisition Regulation and its own general procurement regulations; (2) FY 1994, DOE paid about $122.8 million in fees to compensate contractors for overhead costs, fund contract performance awards, and provide incentives; (3) in FY 1994, DOD paid about $45.9 million in fees for corporate research, capital equipment and facilities, working capital requirements, contingencies, and unreimbursed costs; (4) in FY 1994, NASA paid $16.5 million in fees for a contract performance award; (5) DOE centers are all operated under management and operating contracts and the contractors' work generally covers more than R&D; and (6) 1994 DOE contract reforms revised contracts to include objective performance measures, but not all contracts now link fees to contractor performance.

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