Analysis of Amtrak's Acquisition of Office Copying Equipment

CED-82-111: Published: Jul 12, 1982. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 1982.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the overall cost effectiveness of a purchase of copying machines made by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK). GAO was asked to determine whether: (1) copying machines offered by another contractor would have been suitable for the needs of AMTRAK; and (2) the AMTRAK position that it is not subject to Federal Procurement Regulations was correct.

GAO found that, when compared with the office copiers that AMTRAK had been leasing, the machines that they purchased were cost effective in that the annual costs of copying services had been substantially reduced. GAO also found that: (1) the machines offered by the contractor in question would have been a more cost-effective acquisition than those purchased only if certain special features which AMTRAK considered essential were disregarded; and (2) as a mixed-ownership Government corporation, AMTRAK is not required to conform to procurement regulations although it can avail itself of Federal Supply Schedule prices at its own discretion.

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