This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-03-504SP 
entitled 'Catalogue of GAO and Inspectors General Reports on 
Contracting Issues for Fiscal Years 1997 through 2002' which was 
released on March 31, 2003.

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March 31, 2003:

Subject: Catalogue of GAO and Inspectors General Reports on Contracting 
Issues for Fiscal Years 1997 through 2002:

Dear User:

The federal government spent more than $230 billion through contracts 
with private industry in fiscal year 2001. Ten Executive Branch 
agencies[Footnote 1] account for almost 95 percent of this spending. 
Past reviews by Executive Branch agency inspectors general, military-
department audit agencies,[Footnote 2] and the General Accounting 
Office (GAO) have created an extensive body of reports on the 
procedures and practices that federal agencies use to plan, award, and 
administer contracts. These reviews identified weaknesses in the 
contracting processes of individual agencies[Footnote 3] and 
contracting challenges faced by these agencies. To our knowledge, 
however, there is no comprehensive listing of these reviews that can be 
used to identify the contracting weaknesses and challenges these 
agencies have in common. Consequently, to facilitate literature 
searches of the reports concerning federal contracting matters, we 
compiled a catalogue of information from reports and testimonies by the 
10 agencies' inspectors general, military department audit agencies, 
and GAO. Such a catalogue could be useful to the oversight community 
and others in determining (1) common contracting issues identified 
across multiple agencies and (2) the potential contracting-risk areas 
and gaps in contracting oversight across these agencies.

This catalogue contains information about contracting matters 
identified in reports and testimonies issued during fiscal years 1997 
through 2002. Each catalogue record includes the agency that conducted 
the audit or review; the audited agency; audit report number, title, 
and date issued; a summary of the reported contracting issues; and the 
contracting processes or functions identified as weaknesses. Users of 
the catalogue can conduct a search by any of these items. The catalogue 
includes a brief summary of each report's findings. In most cases, an 
electronic copy of the full report or testimony can be obtained from 
the reporting agency's Web site, or a hard copy document can be 
obtained from the reporting agency. This catalogue is intended to 
facilitate searches of reports. Users of the catalogue should follow up 
with the agencies to determine what actions they took to address the 
findings and recommendations.

The catalogue is available in three formats: (1) an Access™ database, 
(2) an Excel™ spreadsheet, and (3) a data extract text file. We also 
included (1) a list of agency Web sites where users can obtain copies 
of complete reports identified in the catalogue, (2) a glossary of 
contracting terms used to categorize the contracting issues identified 
in the reports, and (3) a tip sheet on conducting simple Access™ 
searches of the catalogue.

Scope and Methodology:

To identify reports and testimonies concerning contracting matters 
issued during fiscal years 1997 through 2002,we identified, obtained, 
and reviewed reports and testimonies from the Web sites of agency 
inspectors general, military department audit agencies, and GAO as well 
as agency-provided lists. We did not include reports that dealt with 
grants, cooperative agreements, or interagency agreements because these 
are not considered contracts and the Federal Acquisition Regulation 
does not govern these relationships. We also did not include pre-award 
and post award reviews of individual contracts or other reports with 
restricted distribution based on proprietary content. We also did not 
include reports restricted because of national security reasons.

Information on these reports is contained in a table, or catalogue. For 
each report, we captured key information (such as audited agency and 
report number), summarized the report's findings, and categorized the 
report by various contracting terms or issues to facilitate catalogue 
searches. A panel of GAO contracting-matter specialists compiled a list 
of contracting terms used to categorize the reported contracting 
issues. These terms were validated by inspector general and audit 
agency officials and defined in a glossary.[Footnote 4] Officials from 
each inspector general's office and audit agency reviewed our catalogue 
entries to validate them for completeness, accuracy, and 
appropriateness of the contracting terms we used to facilitate data 
searches. We incorporated the changes they suggested.

We conducted our research between May 2002 and January 2003. Because 
this effort was not an audit of government organizations or programs, 
this effort was not required to be conducted in accordance with 
generally accepted government auditing standards.

We are sending electronic versions of this catalogue to the inspectors 
general of the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health and 
Human Services, Justice, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans 
Affairs; the General Services Administration; and the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration as well as the directors for the 
Army and Air Force Audit Agencies, and the Naval Audit Service. This 
report will also be available at no charge on GAO's home page at http:/

Questions regarding this catalogue can be directed to me at (202) 512-
8214, or Hilary Sullivan at (214) 777-5652. Major contributors to this 
product were Frederick Day, Timothy DiNapoli, Jack Edwards, Michael 
Gorin, Gordon Lusby, Gary Middleton, Monty Peters, Pauline Reaves, 
Sylvia Schatz, Christina Sklarew, Tanisha Stewart, Bradley Terry, and 
Ralph White.

William T. Woods:


Acquisition and Sourcing Management:

Signed by William T. Woods:


Agency: Website: 

Agency: Department of Agriculture; Website:

Agency: Department of Defense; Website:

Agency: Department of Energy; Website:

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services; Website:

Agency: Department of Justice; Website:

Agency: Department of Transportation; Website:

Agency: Department of Treasury; Website:

Agency: Department of Treasury for Tax Administration; Website:

Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs; Website:

Agency: General Services Administration[Footnote 5]; Website:

Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Website:

Agency: Air Force Audit Agency; Website:

Agency: Army Audit Agency; Website:

Agency: Naval Audit Service; Website:

Agency: General Accounting Office; Website:

[End of section]


The purpose of this glossary is to provide definitions of the terms we 
used to categorize the contracting issues identified in reports 
included in the catalogue. We used the Federal Acquisition Regulation 
(FAR) as our source of choice whenever possible to provide the 
definitions, but used other sources when we could not find a term 
defined in the FAR. The definitions are not intended to be all-
inclusive or legally precise; they are intended to provide a usable, 
general definition to assist users in searching the catalogue. We have 
grouped these terms into various categories, for example, contract 
planning, contract type, and contract administration.

Users can search the catalogue using the terms in this glossary that 
are identified in bold (e.g. requirements) and using the type of 
information contained in each catalogue record, such as the name of the 
agency that was audited or the audit report's number or title. Each 
catalogue record includes the agency that conducted the audit; the 
audited agency; audit report number, title, and date issued; a summary 
of the reported contracting issues; and the contracting processes or 
functions identified as weaknesses. In addition, users can perform a 
word search of the audit report title and the findings summary.

The catalogue includes reports that address issues related to 
contracting--the purchasing, renting, leasing, or otherwise obtaining 
supplies or services from nonfederal sources. The contracting functions 
include planning the contracting action; describing the required 
supplies and services; identifying, soliciting, and selecting sources 
of supplies and services; preparing and awarding contracts; all phases 
of contract administration; and closing out the contract. Contracting 
does not include awarding grants or cooperative agreements.


Requirements are the agency's identified needs for personnel, 
equipment, facilities, other resources, or services, and of definite or 
indefinite quantities, during specific periods of time or at a 
specified time. In addition to specified performance requirements, 
contract requirements include those defined in the statement of work; 
specifications, standards, and related documents; the contract data 
requirements list; or contract terms and conditions.

Socioeconomic programs are programs implemented through the procurement 
process to foster the achievement of national social or economic goals. 
The government uses its purchasing power as a means of promoting goals 
and policies such as fostering small businesses or providing 
contracting opportunities for those with disabilities.

Cost estimate is a judgment or opinion regarding the cost of a 
commodity or service. A cost estimate is included in an offeror's 
proposal and is based on the offeror's estimate of the cost for the 
work to be performed, specifying the expected cost required to perform 
a stipulated task or to produce an item. A cost estimate may consist of 
a single value or a range of values.

Acquisition planning is the process of coordinating and integrating, 
through development of a plan, all of the steps required for the 
government to meet its needs in a timely fashion at a reasonable cost. 
The plan must address all the technical, business, management, and 
other significant considerations that control the acquisition.

Market research means collecting and analyzing information about 
capabilities within the market to satisfy agency needs. It involves a 
process for gathering data on products' characteristics as well as 
suppliers' capabilities and business practices, including the analysis 
of that data to make acquisition decisions. Market research has two 
phases: market surveillance--all the activities that acquisition 
personnel perform continuously to keep themselves abreast of technology 
and product developments in their areas of expertise--and market 
investigation--a phase of market research conducted in response to a 
specific need.


Fixed-price contracts provide for a firm price set at the time of 
award, although in appropriate cases, such prices may later be subject 
to adjustment. Fixed-price contracts providing for an adjustable price 
may include a ceiling price, a target price (including target cost), or 
both. Unless otherwise specified in the contract, the ceiling price or 
target price is subject to adjustment only by operation of contract 
clauses providing for equitable adjustment or other revision of the 
contract price under stated circumstances. Types of fixed-price 
contracts include firm-fixed-price, fixed-price with economic price 
adjustment, and fixed-price incentive contracts.

Cost reimbursement is a type of contract where the government agrees to 
reimburse the contractor its allowable incurred costs to the extent 
permitted. This type of contract establishes an estimate of total cost 
for the purpose of obligation of funds and establishes a ceiling that 
the contract may not exceed (except at the contractor's own risk) 
without prior approval or subsequent ratification by the contracting 
officer. Cost-reimbursement contracts are suitable for use when 
uncertainties involved in contract performance do not permit costs to 
be estimated with sufficient accuracy to use any type of fixed-price 
contract. Types of cost reimbursement contracts include cost (no fee), 
cost-sharing, and a variety of cost-plus-fee contracts.

Indefinite delivery contracts include three types: definite-quantity, 
requirements, and indefinite-quantity contracts, any of which might be 
appropriate when the exact times or quantities of deliveries are 
unknown when the contract is awarded. A definite-quantity contract 
provides for delivery of a definite quantity of specific supplies or 
services, with deliveries to be scheduled upon order. A requirements 
contract provides for filling all actual purchase requirements of 
designated government activities for supplies or services during a 
specified contract period, with deliveries or performance to be 
scheduled by placing orders with the contractor. An indefinite-quantity 
contract provides for an indefinite quantity, within stated limits, of 
supplies or services to be delivered during a fixed period. 
Requirements contracts and indefinite-quantity contracts are also known 
as indefinite delivery/indefinite 
quantity (ID/IQ) contracts. These contracts do not specify a firm 
quantity of supplies or services (other than a minimum or maximum 
quantity) and provide for the issuance of orders for the delivery of 
supplies or the performance of tasks during the period of the contract. 
Examples of ID/IQ contracts include:

Government-wide acquisition contract (GWAC) is a contract for 
information technology established by an agency designated as an 
executive agent by the Office of Management and Budget for use by 
agencies government-wide.

Multi-agency contract is a contract established by one agency for use 
by multiple government agencies to obtain supplies and services 
consistent with the requirements of the Economy Act.

Multiple award contract is a contract awarded to two or more sources 
for the same or similar supplies or services under a single 
solicitation. Orders placed under such contracts must clearly specify 
all the tasks to be performed or supplies to be delivered. In addition, 
agencies placing orders must ensure that each awardee is afforded a 
fair opportunity to be considered for orders exceeding $2,500.

Time-and-materials is a type of contract that provides for acquiring 
supplies or services on the basis of:

* direct labor hours at specified fixed hourly rates that include 
wages, overhead, general and administrative expenses, and profit, and:

* materials at cost, including, if appropriate, material handling costs 
as part of material costs.

Time-and-materials contracts require the execution of a determination 
and finding that no other contract type is suitable and that the 
contract includes a ceiling price that the contractor cannot exceed 
except at his own risk.


Share-in-savings describes a contracting approach, authorized by the 
Clinger-Cohen Act for use in information technology procurements, where 
a contractor funds a project up front in return for a percentage of the 
savings actually realized by the contracting agency.

Performance-based contracting is a means of structuring all aspects of 
an acquisition around the purpose of the work to be performed, with the 
contract's requirements set forth in clear, specific, and objective 
terms with measurable outcomes, as opposed to specifying the manner by 
which the work is to be performed.

Blanket purchase agreement (BPA) is a simplified method of filling 
anticipated repetitive needs for supplies or services by establishing 
"charge accounts" with qualified sources of supply. BPAs may be 
established under the following conditions:

Purchases may be from a wide variety of items in a broad class of 
supplies or services, but the exact items, quantities, and delivery 
requirements are not known in advance and may vary considerably.

There is a need to provide commercial sources of supply for one or more 
offices or projects in a given area that do not have authority to 
purchase otherwise.

* The use of this procedure would avoid the writing of numerous 
purchase orders.

There is no existing requirements contract for the same supply or 
service that the contracting activity is required to use.

General Service Administration (GSA) schedules, or Federal Supply 
Schedules, are indefinite-delivery contracts that GSA negotiates with 
commercial firms to provide supplies and services at stated prices for 
given periods of time. Customers (federal agencies) place orders 
directly with the schedule contractors.


Competition is an acquisition strategy where more than one contractor 
is sought to bid on a service or function; the winner is selected on 
the basis of criteria announced in the solicitation. The Competition in 
Contracting Act of 1984 (P.L. 98-369) requires full and open 
competition for most government contracts.

Cost analysis is the review and evaluation of the separate costs and 
profit in a contractor's proposal. The purpose of the review is to 
determine the accuracy and reasonableness of the proposed costs, 
assuming reasonable economy and efficiency, and the proposed profit.

Price analysis is the process of examining and evaluating a proposed 
price without evaluating its separate cost components or proposed 

Price negotiation is the process of negotiating a contract's price with 
the objective to achieve a fair and reasonable contract price.

Request for proposal (RFP) is a solicitation used in a negotiated 
acquisition to communicate government requirements to prospective 
contractors and to solicit proposals intended to result in a contract 
award. The RFP contains the anticipated terms and conditions of the 
prospective contract.

Request for quotation (RFQ) is used in federal contracting to obtain 
information (e.g. price, delivery information) from prospective 
suppliers. An RFQ is similar to an RFP but solicits information rather 
than offers and is not intended to result in a contract award.

Source selection is the process of selecting a contractor in a 
competitive procurement and typically involves the assessment of 
contractor proposals and evaluating such factors as price, product or 
service quality, and past performance.


Contract oversight is the monitoring of the contractor's performance by 
reviewing progress reports, making visits to the contractor, inspecting 
deliverables, comparing progress with delivery schedules and cost 
objectives, and advising the contracting officer of suspected problems 
with contract performance. Contract oversight starts when the contract 
is awarded and continues until the contract is closed out.

Cost performance report (CPR) is a primary means that a contractor uses 
to report cost and schedule performance and trends to the procuring 

Financial management includes the supervision or administration of 
payments to the contractor and financing issues such as obtaining the 
funds necessary for performance of the contract.

Fee administration is the administration or management of the amount 
paid to a contractor beyond allowable costs under a cost-reimbursable 
contract. The term "fee" is only used in the cost-reimbursement 
environment and is used to describe the contractor's profit. The term 
"profit" is used in the fixed-price environment. A contractor's fee may 
be set as a contract award (as in cost-plus-fixed-fee contracts) or may 
be allowed to fluctuate within a preestablished range in order to 
incentivize the contractor (as in cost-plus-incentive-fee contracts, or 
cost-plus-award-fee contracts).

Subcontracting refers to a contractor's purchase of supplies or 
services from another non-governmental source for use in the 
performance of a prime contract or another subcontract.

Contract closeout is the term used to describe the final settling of 
outstanding contractual issues to ensure that both the government and 
the contractor have completed their obligations. The term also includes 
the final documenting of the contract file to indicate completion of 
the work. A contract is complete when (1) the contractor has completed 
the required deliveries or performed the required services and the 
government has accepted them, or (2) the government has given the 
contractor notice of complete contract termination.


Acquisition workforce is the personnel component of the acquisition 
system responsible for acquiring goods and services; however, the 
definition of the acquisition workforce is not consistent among federal 
agencies. In DOD, it is generally defined as those people, including 
contracting professionals, program managers, engineers, scientists, 
and logisticians who are responsible for managing various facets of 
acquisitions from the earliest phases of basic research to the 
logistical support of systems. In civil agencies, it is generally 
defined as contracting professionals.

Information technology support includes all activities that ensure an 
information technology system meets its operational mission and 
supports the contracting mission. "Information technology" includes 
computers, ancillary equipment, software, firmware, services 
(including support services), and related resources used to support the 
contracting mission by providing the appropriate data and data accuracy 
needed to perform the contracting function.

Policy/guidance/processes includes agency regulations, instructions, 
or directives that govern how government acquisitions are carried out 
and contracting activities are performed.

Funds management is the management of obligations against funds 
appropriated by the Congress and apportioned to specific activities, 
programs, or projects. The purpose of funds management is to prevent 
obligations in excess of the funds made available in the appropriation 
as required by the Anti-deficiency Act.


Illegal activities are actions that do not comply with laws and 

Commercial items include any item, other than real property, that is 
customarily used by the general public or nongovernmental entities for 
other than governmental purposes and that has been sold, leased, or 
licensed to the general public; or has been offered for sale, lease, or 
license to the general public.

E-commerce means electronic techniques for accomplishing business 
transactions including electronic mail or messaging, World Wide Web 
technology, electronic bulletin boards, electronic funds transfers, and 
electronic data interchange.

Intellectual property includes inventions, patents, trademarks, 
copyrights, trade secrets, technical information including software, 
data designs, technical know-how, manufacturing information and know-
how, techniques, technical data packages, and manufacturing data 

Competitive sourcing is a process used to determine if it would be more 
advantageous and cost-effective to obtain services using agency 
personnel or through a contract with the private sector.

Prime vendor is a support concept whereby a single contractor serves as 
commercial distributor/supplier of products to various federal 
customers within a geographical region or zone. The prime vendor 
concept was initiated to reduce inventories and improve customer 

Purchase cards are similar in nature to a commercial credit card and 
are issued to authorized agency personnel for use at commercial 
establishments to acquire and pay for supplies and services.

[End of section]

Tips for Searching Catalogue of IG Contracting Reports:

When you open the IG contracting reports file, a contracting reports 
form will appear. Please note: that you will actually be looking at a 
table of information in a form format for easy reading. There are 934 
records in this table. Each record represents an individual IG report 
containing contracting information:

At the top of the form slightly to the right of the middle of the tool 
bar you will see three funnels. Place your cursor over the center 
funnel; this is the "Filter by Form" button (it will look like a funnel 
with a square attached to it). Click on this funnel, and you will get a 
blank form.

Once in the "Filter by Form" you will see the following:

Filtering to find the records you want. You can then place your cursor 
in any field (e.g., Who Did The Audit?, Report Summary, Title, Date, 
etc.), depending on the information you desire. Some fields will have 
drop down menus identifying specific information. For example, in the 
"Who Did The Audit?" field, you can click on the drop down menu and see 
all the agencies that have contracting information in this searchable 

Once you've identified the field you want to find information in (by 
clicking in it), then go to your tool bar and click on the funnel (it 
is the only one on the tool bar at this point and will be next to the 
right of the red "X".) Click on this to apply filter and the 
appropriate information you are looking for will be identified by the 
number of records containing the information you want at the bottom of 
the form on the left hand side. The text will read, "Look for 
Record_________ of 297 (filtered)," for example.

Let's do some examples:

a. How many Department of Defense (DOD) contracting reports are 
available in this table?

Click on funnel "Filter by Form." Place your cursor in the "Who Did The 
Audit?" field. Click on the drop down menu. Highlight "Defense IG." Go 
to your tool bar at the top, click on apply filter funnel (as explained 
in step 5). All records meeting these criteria will now be displayed in 
the form view. You will notice on the very bottom left side of the 
form, the text for "number of records" will read as 297. This means 
there are 297 DOD IG contract records (reports). (See previous 

b. Now suppose you want to find out how many of these DOD contracting 
reports deal with contract requirements.

You already know that there are a total 297 DOD reports on contracting 
issues from our first search. To narrow the search to just those 
reports in DOD that deal with contract requirement issues, click on the 
"filter by form funnel" (as explained in step 2). Then look at the 
bottom of the form on the left hand side under "Contract Planning" and 
click in the box for "Requirements." Then click on the "Apply Filter" 
button on the tool bar (as explained in step 5). Now you will notice at 
the bottom of the form that there are 69 records that meet your 
criteria and all records meeting these criteria are now displayed in 
the form view.

c. You are able to find additional information continuously by adding 
whatever criteria you desire, clicking on the "Filter by Form," and 
then clicking on the "Applying Filter." For example, if you now want to 
find out how many DOD records contain source selection information in 
addition to contract requirements information, you would click on the 
"Filter by Form" then click in the box for "Source Selection" (Look for 
this under the "Contract Solicitation, Negotiation, and Award" 
heading). Then click on "apply filter" button. You will then see that 
there are four records that meet these criteria (look at the bottom 
left hand side of the screen where you will see record_______ of 4 
(filtered). You can add as much information as you like to your search. 
If you decide that you want to start a new search click on "filter by 
form" and then click on the red "X" to clear the grid.

7. To remove the filter and return to the original form with all 
records, click on the funnel (after in a filtered form, the funnel 
changes to "Remove Filter").

8. All criteria entered on one "Filter by Form" page will result in 
all reports that meet all the criteria you have indicated. You can also 
build searches with "or" criteria. For example, let's say you now want 
to find out if there are also Army Audit Agency contracting reports 
that contain both contract requirements information and source 
selection information. You would once again click on "Filter by Form" 
then look at the bottom of the form on the left side for two tabs 
labeled "look for" and "or." Click on the "or" tab. Then click on the 
drop down menu in the "Who Did The Audit?" field; highlight Army Audit 
Agency. Then, click on requirements and source selection. Click on 
"Apply Filter." Your Army Audit Agency criteria are now added to your 
previous criteria for DOD, which was retained in the "Filter by Form." 
You can keep adding criteria with the "or" tab. The following search 
will result in six reports (four for DOD IG and two for Army Audit 

9. You can search for individual words or phrases in various fields 
containing text (e.g., Report Title or Report Summary) using the 
"Filter by Form" and "Apply Filter." Please note that before starting 
any new searches you should clear previous searches as described in the 
last sentence of step 6.c. In the Report Summary, for example, let's 
say you want to identify every report (out of 934) that contains the 
phrase "service contract." You will note there is a field entitled 
"Report Summary." This field provides a short summary of information 
about every report listed. Therefore, you would want to search in this 
field for the phrase "service contract." You would first click on the 
"Filter by Form" funnel on the tool bar (as explained in step 2). Then 
click in the "Report Summary" field. Type in *service contract*. MAKE 
putting the asterisk at the end of the word "contract" you will get 
both "service contract" and "service contracts." Putting the asterisk 
after the word "contracts" will only get the plural "service 
contracts." Click on Apply Filter and then at the bottom of the form 
(as explained in step 5) you will notice that there are 24 reports with 
information on "service contract." Please note that these 24 reports 
are not necessarily all "service contract" reports in the table, but 
represent only those with the phrase "service contract" in the report 

10. Now suppose you want to find out if there are any Department of 
Transportation (DOT) contracting reports (audited agency) that contain 
the phrase "service contract" in the report summary. You already have 
criteria on service contract; you now just want to narrow your search 
to DOT. Click on "Filter by Form" (you will notice that the previous 
criteria on service contract is still retained in the Report Summary 
field). Click on the "Audited Agency" field, highlight "Department of 
Transportation" and click on "Apply Filter." You will then notice a 
blank screen. This indicates that there are no DOT reports that have 
the phrase "service contract" in the Report Summary field.

11. Now let's say you want to search for all reports between a specific 
starting date and ending date. Start by clicking on "Filter by Form," 
and then place your cursor in the "Date Issued" field. Let's say you 
want to identify all contracting reports for all agencies in the table 
for 1998. Type the following in the date field: between 01/01/1998 and 
12/31/1998, then click on "Apply Filter" and look at the bottom of the 
form on the left hand side (as explained in step 5). You will see that 
there are 162 records that meet these criteria. You can expand this 
search (as explained in the first sentence in step 6.c).

12. Now let's do a variation of step 11. Suppose you want to find all 
reports issued after 12/31/1997. You would clear the filter (as 
explained in the last sentence of step 6.c) and then follow what you 
did in step 11 only this time when you click in the "Date Issued" field 
you would type the following: >12/31/1997. You will notice at the 
bottom of the form on the left hand side (as explained in the last 
sentence of step 5) that there are 745 records that meet this 
criterion. As was previously mentioned, you could expand criteria on 
this particular search (as explained in the first sentence step 6.c.):


[1] The Executive Branch agencies include the Departments of 
Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Justice, 
Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the General Services 
Administration; and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

[2] These are the Army and Air Force Audit Agencies and the Naval Audit 

[3] Contracting is the purchasing, renting, leasing, or otherwise 
obtaining supplies or services from nonfederal sources. The contracting 
process includes planning the contracting action; describing the 
required supplies and services; identifying, soliciting and selecting 
sources of supplies and services; preparing and awarding contracts; all 
phases of contract administration; and closing out the contract.

[4] The panel developed the glossary based on 1) the panel members' 
knowledge and experience with contract related issues and (2) 
definitions contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulation. 

[5] GSA Inspector General reports generally are not available on the 
website and must be ordered in hard copy.

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General Accounting Office, 441 G Street NW, Room 7149 Washington, D.C.