Views on S. 1782

B-207097: Published: May 14, 1982. Publicly Released: May 14, 1982.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO presented its views on S. 1782, a bill pertaining to contract progress payments made by agencies of the Federal Government. The proposed bill provides that progress payments shall be made monthly as the work proceeds, at more frequent intervals as determined by the contracting officer, or at intervals stipulated by the contract. GAO stated that making payments more frequently than once a month could create an unnecessary administrative burden on agencies. Therefore, to help assure consistent treatment of contractors by Federal contracting officers and to aid in reducing the administrative burden, GAO believes that some criteria or guidance should be provided to help contracting officers decide when to authorize payments more frequently than once a month. The bill also provides that, if a small business concern has provided an adequate performance bond as determined by the contracting officer, the contracting officer shall authorize progress payments to be made in full without retention of any percentage of the contract price. GAO stated that, where the contracting officer has knowledge that the contractor is not performing satisfactorily, he should have the flexibility to retain a percentage of the progress payment.

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