ADP Technical Assistance:

DOD's Remedial Actions on Its Contract With Electronic Data Systems

IMTEC-86-3: Published: Jan 17, 1986. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the propriety of a contractor's role in performing a systems engineering and technical assistance contract to help the Department of Defense (DOD) make procurement decisions for its Composite Health Care System.

GAO found that congressional concerns about the contractor's role and its possibly adverse effect on vendors and competition were well founded; however, DOD took remedial actions to alleviate the possibility of competitive advantage and conflict of interest. GAO found that: (1) DOD barred the firm from participating in the evaluation and selection of future contractors; (2) DOD prohibited the firm from competing for three other medical information systems to avoid possible conflict of interest; and (3) the firm will no longer have access to precontract proprietary information and, once under contract, will not be granted access to proprietary data until it has signed a nondisclosure agreement with the chosen contractor. Therefore, the firm will not be in a position to discredit the software being considered for use in the system or have access to the technical information contained in its competitors' proposals. Finally, GAO found that, because of the threat of the competitive advantage which the firm could gain by postaward access to proprietary data, DOD may have to acquire a substitute contractor, which would affect the timely deployment of the systems in DOD hospitals.

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