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United States General Accounting Office: 


Before the Committee on Environment and Public Works, U.S. Senate: 

For Release on Delivery: 
Expected at 9:30 a.m., EDT: 
Thursday, July 11, 2002: 

Federal Procurement: 

Government Agencies’ Purchases of Recycled-Content Products: 

Statement for the Record by: 
David G. Wood: 
Director, Natural Resource and Environment Issues: 


Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee: 

We are pleased to discuss the results of our work on the federal 
government’s purchase of recycled products. As you know, the federal 
government buys about $200 billion of products and services each year 
to conduct its operations. Through its purchasing decisions, the 
federal government has the opportunity to affirm goals for preventing
pollution, reducing solid waste, increasing recycling, and stimulating 
markets for environmentally preferable products and services. 

Recognizing this potential, the Congress, in the Resource Conservation 
and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA), directed the Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA) to identify products made with recycled waste materials or 
solid waste by-products and to develop guidance for purchasing these 
products. The act also requires procuring agencies to establish 
programs for purchasing these products. Procuring agencies, which can
include contractors and state and local government grantees, are exempt 
from this requirement only under certain conditions and must document 
their reasons for not purchasing the recycled-content products. The 
Office of Federal Procurement Policy, in the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) is responsible for coordinating the RCRA requirements with 
other federal procurement policies, and for reporting to the Congress 
every 2 years on federal agencies’ progress in implementing these 

This statement is based on our June 2001 report entitled Federal 
Procurement: Better Guidance and Monitoring Needed to Assess Purchases 
of Environmentally Friendly Products (GAO-01-430). Specifically, my 
statement discusses federal agencies’ (1) purchases of recycled-content 
products and (2) efforts to promote awareness of recycled-content 
products. In preparing the report, we surveyed the four agencies that
account for about 85 percent of all federal procurements—the 
departments of Defense and of Energy, the General Services 
Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration (NASA)—and two major grant-awarding agencies—the 
departments of Transportation and of Housing and Urban Development. 

In summary: 

* Twenty-five years after RCRA was to launch a revolution in federal 
purchases of recycled-content products, the success of this effort is 
largely uncertain. EPA accelerated its designation of recycled-content 
products in the 1990s—the agency had identified 54 products with 
recycled content at the time of our report. However, we could not 
determine the extent to which the large procuring agencies purchase 
these products because most lack reliable and complete data on such 
purchases. The agencies lack data primarily because their procurement 
systems are generally not designed to track these purchases— 
particularly those made through contracts (which account for at least 
90 percent of federal procurement dollars); with federal purchase cards 
(used like credit cards); or by grantees. 

* While procuring agencies acknowledged that EPA’s designation of 
recycled-content products, by itself, is not sufficient to ensure that 
the products are purchased, their efforts to promote awareness have 
been limited. The agencies told us that their staff members often are 
either not aware of these products or not able to locate them in their 
areas. In addition, the agencies have made little effort to ensure that 
grantees are aware of their obligations to purchase recycled-content 
products, and most do not have any reliable means of even identifying 
contracts that call for the use of these products. Furthermore, in the 
absence of credible data on purchases, the agencies have not put 
programs in place to review and monitor their progress in complying
with the RCRA requirements. 

Our report made a number of recommendations to improve the agencies’ 
programs to purchase EPA-designated recycled-content products. In 
October 2001, OMB responded to our recommendations. Regarding our 
recommendations for additional guidance to federal agencies, OMB stated 
that it is reviewing its current reporting requirements and plans to 
issue more specific guidance as necessary. As of July 2002, it had not 
issued additional guidance. In response to our recommendations, 
effective October 1, 2001, OMB has added a new data field to its 
procurement data information system to collect information on the 
procurement of EPA-designated products for contracts of $25,000 or
more. This new field allows agencies for the first time to measure 
their contractors’ purchasing of recycled-content products. Although 
OMB anticipated that this information would significantly improve 
compliance and reduce agency administrative burdens, it still does not 
provide complete information on agencies’ purchases of these products 
because it does not include purchases from federal purchase cards or 
grantees. Finally, as we recommended, OMB agreed to consider 
incorporating the RCRA requirements into the common rule the next time 
it updates the rule. [Footnote 1] (It has not set up a time frame for 
updating the rule.) In addition, a Federal Environmental Executive
official told us that as of July 2002, neither his organization nor EPA 
had developed a process to provide agencies with current information on 
the availability, or how to more effectively promote, the purchase of 
recycled-content products. 


The use of federal procurement to promote environmental goals has 
gained increasing emphasis since the 1976 RCRA legislation. RCRA 
section 6002 requires each procuring agency [Footnote 2] that purchases 
more than $10,000 of an item (in a fiscal year) that EPA has designated 
as available with recycled content to have an affirmative procurement
program in place to ensure that the agency purchases recycled-content 
products to the maximum extent practicable. This requirement applies 
both to purchases made directly by the agency and to purchases made 
indirectly by their contractors and grantees. 

To comply with RCRA, an agency’s affirmative procurement program must 
consist of four elements: (1) a preference program that requires the 
agencies to institute practices and procedures favoring the 
specification and procurement of recycled-content products; (2) an 
internal and external promotion program to actively promote the 
purchase program for recycled-content products; (3) procedures for 
obtaining pre-award estimates, and post-award certifications of 
recovered materials content in the products to be supplied under any 
contracts over $100,000 and, where appropriate, reasonably verifying 
those estimates and certifications; and (4) procedures for monitoring 
and annually reviewing the effectiveness of the affirmative procurement 
program to ensure the use of the highest practicable percentage of 
recycled-content materials available. 

A 1998 executive order strengthened the RCRA requirements. 
Specifically, the order clarified some existing requirements and 
defined more clearly the duties of the Federal Environmental 
Executive—who is appointed by and reports to the President—and the
responsibilities of agency environmental executives in implementing 
certain initiatives and actions to further encourage the “greening” of 
the government through federal procurement. A change to the Federal 
Acquisition Regulations (FAR) formalized the 1998 executive order by 
making it a requirement for all executive agencies and contracting 
officers to follow when buying products, including supplies that are
furnished under a service contract. The changes to the FAR also 
emphasized policies to purchase products containing recycled-content 
material and other environmentally preferable products and services 
when feasible. [Footnote 3] 

Federal agencies must also comply with acquisition reform legislation 
enacted during the 1990s. In response to concerns about the 
government’s ability to take advantage of the opportunities offered by 
the commercial marketplace, these reforms streamlined the way that the 
federal government buys its goods and services. For example, the reforms
introduced governmentwide commercial purchase cards, (known as federal 
purchase cards) similar to corporate credit cards, to acquire and pay 
for goods and services of $2,500 or less. [Footnote 4] 

The Office of the Federal Environmental Executive has overarching 
responsibilities to advocate, coordinate and assist federal agencies in 
acquiring recycled-content products and services. In 1999, a White 
House task force chaired by the Federal Environmental Executive issued 
a strategic plan that calls upon all executive agencies to demonstrate
significant increases in the procurement of recycled-content products 
from each preceding year through 2005. Each agency’s environmental 
executive is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the 
agency’s affirmative procurement program and for setting goals to 
increase purchases of recycled-content products in accordance with the
strategic plan. The Federal Environmental Executive prepares a biennial 
report to the President on agencies’ actions. 

Although all procuring agencies are required to have an affirmative 
procurement program and to track their purchases of recycled-content 
products, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and the Office of 
the Federal Environmental Executive—who coordinate their information 
requests—require annual purchase reports only from the top six 
procuring agencies. These six agencies are the departments of Defense, 
Energy, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs; GSA; and NASA. The Office 
of Federal Procurement Policy and the Office of the Federal 
Environmental Executive issue a joint report to the Congress every 2 
years on these agencies’ progress in purchasing the EPA-designated

Federal Purchases of Recycled-Content Products Could Not Be Determined
Because of Incomplete Information: 

While EPA accelerated its efforts in the 1990s to identify and issue 
guidance on procuring products with recycled content, we could not 
determine the extent to which the four major federal procuring agencies 
purchase these products because their procurement systems do not 
clearly identify purchases of recycled-content products. In addition, 
the agencies do not receive complete data from their headquarters and 
field offices or their contractors and grantees. As a result, these 
agencies generally provide estimates, not actual purchase data, to the 
Office of Federal Procurement Policy and the Office of the Federal 
Environmental Executive. According to three of the four 
agencies—including Defense, which accounts for over 65 percent of 
federal government procurements [Footnote 5]—even these estimates are 
not reliable. In addition, agencies’ efforts to promote awareness of 
purchase requirements for recycled-content products have had limited 
success, and their efforts to monitor progress have principally relied 
on the estimated data they report. A White House task force made a 
number of recommendations to improve data collection, particularly from 
federal purchase card users and contractors. One of these 
recommendations—adding a new data field that tracks the purchases of 
recycled content products from the agencies’ contractors—was instituted 
in the fall of 2001. However, it does not include federal purchase card 
users, grantees, or the agencies themselves. 

EPA Has Accelerated the Designation of Products With Recycled Content: 

In the early 1980s, the Congress directed EPA to issue guidance for 
five products with recycled content, three of which the Congress 
designated: cement and concrete containing fly ash, [Footnote 6] 
recycled paper and paper products, and retread tires. Between 1983
and 1989, EPA issued guidance for these three products and for re-
refined lubricating oil and building insulation. [Footnote 7] EPA did 
not issue guidance for any more products until 1995. Between 1995 and 
2000, EPA increased the total number of designated products to 54 and 
issued comprehensive procurement guidance to use in purchasing these 
products. Figure 1 shows the increases in the number of designated 
products with recycled content. 

Figure 1: EPA’s Designation of Recycled-Content Products, 1983 through 

Year: 1983; 
Number of products: 1. 

Year: 1988; 
Number of products: 4. 

Year: 1989; 
Number of products: 5. 

Year: 1995; 
Number of products: 24. 

Year: 1997; 
Number of products: 36. 

Year: 2000; 
Number of products: 54. 

[End of figure] 

EPA has identified eight categories of recycled-content products. These 
are listed below, with examples of products in each category. 

* Construction products: Building insulation containing recycled paper 
or fiberglass; carpeting containing recycled rubber or synthetic 
fibers; floor tiles made with recycled rubber or plastic. 

* Landscaping products: Landscaping timbers and posts containing a mix 
of plastic and sawdust or made of fiberglass; hydraulic mulch 
containing paper; compost made from yard trimmings and/or food waste. 

* Nonpaper office products: Trash bags containing recycled plastic; 
waste receptacles containing recycled plastic or steel; and binders 
containing recycled plastic or pressboard. 

* Paper and paper products: Copier paper, newsprint, file folders, and 
paper towels and napkins, all of which have recycled fiber content. 

* Park and recreation products: Picnic tables and park benches 
containing recycled plastics or aluminum; playground equipment 
containing recycled plastic or steel; fencing using recycled plastic. 

* Transportation products: Parking stops containing recycled plastic or 
rubber; traffic barricades containing steel or recycled fiberglass; 
traffic cones containing recycled PVC or rubber. 

* Vehicular products: Engine coolants (antifreeze), re-refined motor 
oil and retread tires, all of which contain recycled content materials. 

* Miscellaneous products: Awards and plaques containing glass, wood or 
paper; drums containing steel or plastic; signs and sign posts 
containing plastic, steel, or aluminum. 

EPA officials have also identified 11 additional recycled content 
products for designation and expect to issue purchasing guidelines for 
them in the fall of 2002. According to EPA officials, the list of 
possible products continues to evolve because new products are always 
being developed and existing products may be changed, adding more 
recycled material. 

However, the four major procuring agencies said that the list contains 
more items than they can feasibly track the purchases of and that 
targeting their tracking efforts on the major items they purchase would 
be a better use of their resources. The four agencies also told us that 
it is costly and burdensome to update their tracking programs each time
EPA adds new items and to document whether or not their purchases of 
these products meet the $10,000 threshold. Defense and GSA officials 
added that instead of continuing to add products to the designated 
list, EPA should work with the agencies to assist them in buying 
products already identified. Specifically, they said that (1) EPA 
should provide more information on the availability of the individual 
products, since listed products may not be available in all regions of 
the country; and (2) EPA should identify the manufacturers and costs of 
the recycled-content products and take the lead in promoting them, thus 
making it easier for federal agencies to buy these products. Officials 
at the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive agreed with 
Defense’s and GSA’s assessment regarding purchasing difficulties. 

Information on Agencies’ Purchases of Products With Recycled-Content is 
Largely Unavailable: 

Three of the four major procuring agencies generally do not provide 
credible and complete information on their purchases of recycled-
content products because (1) they do not have automated tracking 
systems for these products and (2) the information they do collect and 
report does not include a significant portion of their procurements, 
such as those made by contractors. 

Agencies Lack Automated Tracking Systems for Recycled-Content Products: 

Defense, GSA, and NASA reported that they cannot use their automated 
procurement systems to track recycled-content products purchased by 
officials in their headquarters and field offices and by their 
contractors and grantees. As a result, they collect information 
manually, a process they find costly and time-consuming. This is 
particularly the case for agencies with large field structures such as 
Defense. Defense and GSA reported that they can electronically track 
recycled-content products purchased from their automated central supply 
systems, which also records purchases made by other agencies, if the 
products are included in Defense and GSA stock inventories. The systems 
do not track items purchased from vendor lists. 

According to Defense and GSA officials, recent improvements to these 
central supply systems include electronic catalogues of environmentally 
friendly products linked to an automated shopping system, which will 
allow the agencies to better track and report on other agencies’ 
purchases of recycled-content products. 

NASA and Energy offices also manually collect purchase data on recycled-
content products but enter the information into automated systems for 
tracking and reporting. However, they have not integrated these 
automated systems with their agencywide procurement systems. Despite 
this lack of integration, Energy officials indicated that with their 
current tracking system, they are able to determine the extent to which 
most of their offices and contractors are purchasing recycled-content 
products. NASA officials reported that their system provides more 
limited data on some contractors. 

Defense and GSA officials acknowledged that their data collection would 
improve if they had on-line electronic systems for recycled-content 
products linked to agencywide procurement systems. However, the 
additional cost of developing such an integrated system would not be 
worthwhile, according to these officials. For example, Defense believes 
that the cost of developing and maintaining a reliable system to 
produce the data needed to comply with current reporting requirements 
would far exceed the value of the information produced. 

Major Purchase Sources are Excluded From the Agencies’ Reports: 

The data the agencies collect and report to the offices of Federal 
Procurement Policy and of the Federal Environmental Executive generally 
exclude several sources of information. First, data are excluded 
regarding federal purchase card acquisitions, which are increasing and 
as of fiscal year 2001 accounted for about 5.5 percent of all federal 
purchases. The four procuring agencies reported that they cannot track 
federal card purchases of recycled-content products made in the private 
sector, such as desk accessories, tires, and lubricating oil, unless 
they establish an internal system that relies on the card users to keep 
records. Defense and GSA reported that they do not have such systems. 
Defense officials noted that requiring purchase card users to keep logs 
is in conflict with acquisition reforms intended to simplify the 
procurement process for purchases below $2,500 (micropurchases). 
[Footnote 8] Energy and NASA officials stated they do track and report 
purchases of recycled-content products through federal purchase cards 
and have established processes for staff to keep records for entry into 
their database for the recycled content program. 

Second, the agencies’ data are also incomplete because they may exclude 
information on purchases made by some of their component organizations. 
For example, Defense reported that the military services provide mostly 
estimated data, which they do not verify to determine accuracy and 
completeness. Furthermore, these estimates do not include all of the 
services. For example, the Army provided no information for Defense’s
report to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and the Office of 
the Federal Environmental Executive for fiscal years 1998 and 1999, and 
the Air Force and Navy provided limited purchase data. The lack of 
reliable data from Defense is of particular concern in evaluating the 
effectiveness of the RCRA program because Defense’s procurements 
account for over 65 percent of total federal procurements reported for 
fiscal year 1999. Defense reported that it purchased recycled-content 
products worth about $157 million out of total fiscal year 1999 
procurements of about $130 billion. (The total fiscal year procurement 
figure of $130 billion includes $20 billion for research and 
development and $50 billion for major weapons systems that are unlikely 
to involve the procurement of recycled-content products. In addition, 
it includes $53 billion for service contracts that may or may not 
involve the purchase of recycled-content products. Defense officials 
indicated that some of these figures may overlap.) 

Third, the agencies lack complete data on purchases made by contractors 
and grantees. This data gap is potentially significant because 
contracts over $25,000 account for almost 90 percent of all federal 
procurements. The agencies reported the following: Defense has no 
information on contractors’ purchases; GSA has limited information on 
some contractors’ purchases; Energy, which spends about 94 percent of 
its appropriations on contractors, collects purchase information from 
about 86 percent of its contractors; and NASA collects purchase data 
from on-site contractors but receives little or no data from off-site 

Fourth, the agencies lack data on grantee purchases. State and local 
agencies receiving federal grants may be “procuring agencies” under 
RCRA. If they meet the $10,000 threshold – that is, if they spend more 
than $10,000 on a designated item – they are subject to the affirmative 
procurement program requirement and to buying the recycled-content 
products on EPA’s list. However, grantees are not required to report 
their purchases of EPA-designated products with recycled content. Also, 
executive orders do not apply to grantees. Because of overall federal 
efforts to reduce the paperwork (reporting) burden on grantees, federal 
agencies stated that they cannot request information from grantees 
without OMB approval. Consequently, six of the agencies we reviewed, 
including the major grant-making agencies—DOT and HUD—reported that 
they do not obtain any information on grantees’ purchases. 

A White House task force workgroup on streamlining and improving 
reporting and tracking, cochaired by the Federal Environmental 
Executive and OMB’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy, has made a 
number of recommendations to improve data collection from federal 
purchase card users and contractors. Aside from instituting additional 
data requirements, the task force is planning to begin a pilot project 
with banks and willing vendors to identify and report recycled-content 
products purchases made with federal purchase cards. However, as of 
July 2002, it is not sure when this effort will begin. We believe that 
this effort would provide useful additional information regarding 
purchase card users’ compliance with the RCRA requirements. 

With respect to contractors, the workgroup recommended revising the 
Federal Procurement Data System—a system that collects information on 
procurements on a governmentwide basis for contracts over $25,000. 
[Footnote 9] The revised data system would require the procuring 
official to indicate whether the contract includes (1) recycled-content 
products, and (2) appropriate language from the FAR to ensure that the 
contractor is notified of the requirements with respect to purchasing 
recycled-content products. If these changes are implemented, the 
agencies will no longer have to manually collect and report on their 
individual purchases of recycled-content products. Although the revised 
system will not provide information on the products themselves or of 
the dollar amount associated with them, it would allow agencies for the 
first time to identify contracts subject to recycled-content product 
purchases and to measure their annual progress in increasing the 
percentage of contracts containing affirmative procurement clauses. 

Agencies’ Efforts to Promote Recycled-Content Products Have Generally 
Not Increased Awareness: 

The four major procuring agencies reported efforts to promote awareness 
of the requirement to purchase recycled-content products, but several 
studies indicate that the success of these efforts has been limited. In 
addition, although RCRA requires federal agencies to review and monitor 
the effectiveness of their RCRA program efforts, only Energy has taken 
any steps beyond the data collection efforts discussed earlier. 

Success of Promotion Efforts Is Limited: 

Studies of the agencies’ affirmative procurement programs report that 
the agencies are not effectively educating procurement officials about 
the requirement to buy EPA-designated recycled-content products. This 
lack of awareness is a major or contributing factor to inaccurate data 
and noncompliance with implementing affirmative procurement programs, 
according to our survey of the agencies, as well as the reports by the 
GSA and NASA inspectors general, the Air Force’s Internal Audit Agency, 
and a fiscal year 2000 EPA survey of 72 federal facilities. [Footnote 

Efforts to promote the purchase of recycled-content products by 
government agencies, their contractors, and grantees can occur 
government- or agency-wide. Governmentwide efforts include those 
conducted by the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive, which 
actively promotes, coordinates, and assists federal agencies’ efforts 
to purchase EPA-designated items. For example, the Office of the 
Federal Environmental Executive has helped increase agency purchases of 
EPA-designated products by encouraging GSA, the Defense Logistics 
Agency, and the Government Printing Office to automatically substitute 
recycled-content products in filling orders for copier paper (begun in 
1992) and lubricating oil (begun in 1999). This effort has increased 
sales of recycled-content copier paper from 39 percent to 98 percent at 
GSA and the Government Printing Office, according to the Office of the 
Federal Environmental Executive. GSA now carries only recycled-content 
copier paper. The Defense Logistics Agency reported that its sales of 
re-refined lubricating oil increased over 50 percent from fiscal year 
1999 to fiscal year 2000. Given the success of the automatic 
substitution program for these products, the Office of the Federal 
Environmental Executive is strongly encouraging agencies to identify 
other recycled-content products for which automatic substitution 
policies might be appropriate. However, this program does not apply to 
purchases made outside of the federal supply centers. 

GSA and Defense have also placed symbols in their printed and 
electronic catalogues and in their electronic shopping systems to 
identify recycled-content products. Using the electronic catalogue, 
agencies can then go directly into the electronic shopping system to 
order these products. They will also be able to track and report these 
purchases. Defense and GSA are also working jointly to modify the 
Federal Logistics Information System to add environmental attribute 
codes to the products listed in that system to more easily identify 
environmentally friendly products. [Footnote 11] The modification’s 
usefulness may be limited, however, because this system does not 
automatically link the user to a system for purchasing the products 
identified, according to agency officials. 

Energy, GSA, and Defense’s Air Force, Navy, and Army Corps of Engineers 
have initiated alternative efforts to inform contractors of the 
requirement to purchase recycled-content products. Energy makes its 
major facility management contractors part of its affirmative 
procurement program team to help implement the program. Moreover, in 
May 2000, Energy established “green acquisition advocates” at each of 
its major contracting facilities. Among their duties, these advocates 
are to promote the RCRA program to the contractors. GSA and the three 
Defense components have developed “green” construction and/or lease 
programs that promote the use of EPA-designated products. In addition, 
all the agencies we reviewed have incorporated the FAR clauses 
pertaining to the RCRA program into their contracts. GSA also reported 
that it plans to modify its acquisition manual to include a review of 
the list of EPA-designated products with contractors in post-award 

The agencies we examined have generally not developed agency-specific 
mechanisms for advising grantees of their responsibility to purchase 
recycled-content products. Instead, they rely on OMB Circular A-102. 
This circular refers to RCRA and contains a general statement on the 
requirement for grantees to give preference in their purchases to the
EPA-designated products. It does not inform them of the specific 
requirements they need to follow, such as developing affirmative 
procurement programs. Only Energy, in its financial assistance 
regulations, requires its grant-making program offices to inform
grantees of the RCRA requirement. 

Agencies’ Review and Monitoring of Recycled Content Purchases Is 

RCRA requires federal agencies to review and monitor the effectiveness 
of their recycled-content programs; however, it does not define what 
review and monitoring should consist of. With the exception of Energy, 
which has established purchasing goals that its contractors must meet, 
the major procuring agencies limit their required annual review and 
monitoring functions to compiling data on their purchases of recycled-
content products in order to report to the offices of the Federal 
Environmental Executive and Federal Procurement Policy. But as the 
agencies admit, these data are unreliable and incomplete. Consequently, 
these data do not allow the agencies to assess their progress in 
purchasing recycled-content products or review the effectiveness of 
their recycled content purchase programs. However, Defense procurement 
officials believe that legislation like RCRA, because of its review and 
monitoring requirements, is in conflict with the streamlining reforms 
that are intended to ease the administrative burden associated with 
government purchases. 

We recognize that demonstrating that an agency is meeting RCRA 
requirements can be administratively difficult. The major procuring 
agencies noted that it is costly and burdensome to update their 
purchase tracking programs each time EPA designates recycled-content 
products; each relies on costly and time-consuming manual data 
collection. Defense, the largest procuring agency, believes efforts to 
monitor and report on recycled-content product purchases conflict with 
the streamlining goals of procurement reform. However, RCRA requires 
such information. 

Contact and Staff Acknowledgement: 

For further information on this testimony, please call me at (202) 512-
6878 or Pat Gleason at (202) 512-6946. Maureen Driscoll, William Roach 
Jr., and Paul Schearf also made key contributions to this testimony. 

[End of section] 


[1] The common rule is a set of governmentwide rules and conditions 
under which grants to state and local governments are administered. 

[2] Procuring agencies are federal agencies, state and local agencies 
using appropriated federal funds, and their contractors. 

[3] The FAR specifies rules that agencies must follow in their 
procurement actions. On June 6, 2000 the Civilian Agency Acquisition 
Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council published a 
final rule amending the FAR to implement Executive Order 13101, 
Greening the Government through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and 
Federal Acquisition, dated September 14, 1998. 

[4] The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 required federal 
agencies to enter into multiple award contracts and introduced the 
micro-purchase threshold for purchase cards up to $2,500. The Clinger-
Cohen Act of 1996 allowed agencies to authorize more employees to make 
purchases up to $2,500. 

[5] This figure includes all Defense procurements—including weapons 
systems and research and development funds, which are unlikely to 
include the purchase of recycled-content products. The figure also 
includes service contracts—which may or may not involve the purchase of 
these products. 

[6] Fly ash is the residue that results from the combustion of 
pulverized coal. 

[7] U.S. General Accounting Office, Solid Waste: Federal Program to Buy 
Products With Recovered Materials Proceeds Slowly. GAO/RCED-93-58 
(Wash., D.C.: May 17, 1993). 

[8] The use of federal purchase cards was encouraged in 1993 by the 
National Performance Review, which identified the purchase card as a 
major acquisition reform and recommended that all federal agencies 
increase their use of the card to cut the red tape normally associated 
with the federal procurement process. 

[9] This data system, operated by GSA on behalf of the Office of 
Federal Procurement Policy, has been in operation since 1978. It has 
undergone numerous changes over the years and is considered to be 
outdated. A multiagency task force is currently considering replacing 
this system. 

[10] The three audits include the NASA Inspector General Final Report 
on the Audit of Kennedy Space Center’s Recycling Efforts, IG-98-017, 
dated June 12, 1998; the GSA Inspector General Report entitled Review 
of GSA’s Affirmative Procurement Program, A71503/P/5/R97016, dated 
March 28, 1997; and an Air Force Audit Agency‘s report on its 
Affirmative Procurement Program, Project Number 99052016, June 1999. 

[11] The Federal Logistics Information System is a computerized 
database that serves as a centralized, federal-wide repository for 
information on the more than 7 million items in the federal supply 
system. In addition to showing the name and national stock number for 
each item, the system provides vendor information, the item’s physical
characteristics, and guidance on acquiring, storing, distributing, 
transporting, using, and disposing of the item. Procurement officials 
use the system primarily to research which items are most appropriate 
for them to purchase. 

[End of section] 

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