U.S. Postal Service Procurement of Long-Life Delivery Vehicles

GGD-85-13: Published: Jan 16, 1985. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 1985.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO and the Office of Technology Assessment jointly reviewed the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) decision to purchase 99,150 vehicles equipped with small gasoline engines to determine the Service's rationale for selecting gasoline vehicles after its extensive testing of small diesel engines.

GAO found that a comparative cost analysis between gasoline and diesel powered vehicles is unavailable because, to date, no domestic manufacturer has made a small diesel engine that would satisfy the solicitation specifications. Therefore, GAO had no basis upon which to question the USPS decision to purchase vehicles powered by gasoline engines. Although foreign diesel engines which would satisfy the specifications are available, as a matter of policy the engines must be purchased from a domestic manufacturer. USPS is currently testing small domestic diesel engines for potential automotive applications, but will not reconsider its gasoline-only procurement decision in the current procurement because: (1) the tests will not produce sufficient data for making a comparative cost analysis; (2) reconsideration would be unfair to potential bidders and contrary to procurement regulations; (3) reconsideration might limit competition and result in a more costly procurement; and (4) it has strong reasons for not purchasing a mix of gasoline-powered and diesel-powered vehicles.

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