Improvements in Small Purchasing Activities Can Save Money, Increase Competition, and Achieve Required Goals

GGD-82-44: Published: Jun 8, 1982. Publicly Released: Jun 8, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the small purchasing operations at certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Customs Service offices.

At all locations, the sample transactions showed that: (1) many purchases were made without competition; (2) purchases were often directed from program offices rather being controlled by procurement officials; (3) various set-aside and sheltered procurement programs were not implemented; and (4) many transactions were for less than $500 but were paid using costly purchase order procedures rather than cash payments which are allowable under the increased imprest fund levels.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Assistant Secretary for Administration, Department of the Treasury, should direct IRS and Customs to increase supervisory reviews on any proposed noncompetitive purchasing to insure that it is justified.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Assistant Secretary for Administration, Department of the Treasury, should direct IRS and Customs to maximize the use of cash transactions under the new, higher imprest fund level, including the use of cash-on-delivery or other procedures which are less expensive and quicker than using purchase orders. Another alternative, proposed by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, would be to establish the procedures and controls necessary to allow bank check or money order payments on bills for less than $500.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Assistant Secretary for Administration, Department of the Treasury, should direct IRS and Customs to implement procurement preference programs for small, minority- or women-owned, and labor surplus area businesses.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

 

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