Status of Prior GAO Recommendations on Selected District of Columbia Procurement Activities

GGD-86-64BR: Published: Apr 14, 1986. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO: (1) reviewed the status of recommendations it made to the District of Columbia (D.C.) concerning procurement matters; and (2) attempted to determine whether any national standards exist for local government procurement.

GAO found that: (1) while the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) attempted to improve compliance with its procurement procedures, about 23 percent of its fiscal year 1985 procurement transactions were noncompliant; (2) an internal UDC audit identified a number of common instances of noncompliance; and (3) UDC personnel continued to initiate a large number of unauthorized procurements. GAO also found that the D.C. Department of Administrative Services has: (1) revised its procurement reporting system; (2) strengthened its procurement procedures to require more competitive procurements; and (3) drafted standard contract option clauses. In addition, GAO found that, while the D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) took a number of actions to reduce noncompetitive procurement, they have not been successful because DCPS has not: (1) made effective use of inventory control systems; (2) reduced the use of blanket purchase agreements; (3) improved planning to reduce emergency purchases; or (4) timely completed property and equipment inventories at DCPS facilities.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: UDC took steps to apprise employees of the need to comply with procurement policies and procedures, but has not set any criteria for determining when disciplinary action would be appropriate. To date, no disciplinary actions have been taken against UDC employees who have not followed procurement policies and procedures.

    Recommendation: The Board of Trustees, UDC, should take the steps necessary to ensure that established procurement policies and procedures are followed. Such steps should include taking appropriate disciplinary action.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The DCPS Buildings and Grounds Division is operating under procedures used by the Logistical Support Division. Additional staff and vehicles were added to improve delivery of materials to the work sites. In addition, a screening, prioritizing, and spending plan was implemented for all warehouse stock and the automated warehouse system was operational in June 1988.

    Recommendation: The Superintendent, DCPS, should direct the Division of Buildings and Grounds to process requests for materials and supplies in a timely manner through normal procurement channels.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: Public Schools

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On May 16, 1988, DCPS advised GAO that the needs assessment done by a consultant was complete and blanket purchase agreements had been eliminated. Further, the 75-percent reduction of over-the-counter purchases had been achieved.

    Recommendation: The Superintendent, DCPS, should direct the Division of Buildings and Grounds to collect the information necessary to perform needs assessments and use the needs assessments to maximize the practice of obtaining common-use items through normal competitive procurement purchases.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: Public Schools

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: All initial inventories were completed. In addition, DCPS developed and put in place a directive which established cyclical inventory schedules.

    Recommendation: The Superintendent, DCPS, should direct responsible school officials to complete physical inventories in a timely manner.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: Public Schools


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