Survey of the Federal Judicial Center's Activities

B-193861: Mar 27, 1979

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A survey was made to determine: (1) whether the Federal Judicial Center (FJC) is exempt from the Brooks Act, and (2) whether FJC must procure automatic data processing (ADP) equipment and services in compliance with the Federal Procurement Regulations and competitive procurement statutes. Although FJC is exempt from the law stating that a Government agency must obtain needed supplies and services by means of formal advertising and from civilian agency procurement statutes, an examination of its enabling legislation shows Congress' intent that FJC enter into contracts by negotiation. Therefore, FJC should award contracts by using competitive negotiation where practicable. FJC, as an establishment in the judicial branch, is a Federal agency as the term is used in the Brooks Act. Since no law expressly exempts FJC from the Brooks Act, FJC must comply with the Brooks Act and implementing Federal regulations in all ADP procurements.