Telecommunications:

GSA Should Improve Oversight of Small Business Contracting

IMTEC-91-57: Published: Jul 9, 1991. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed small and small disadvantaged business subcontracting opportunities for major telecommunications contracts, focusing on whether the Federal Telecommunications System (FTS) 2000, Technical Assistance and Management Services (TAMS), and Washington Interagency Telecommunications System (WITS) contracts afforded such businesses maximum practicable opportunity for subcontracting, as the Small Business Act required.

GAO found that: (1) the prime contractors exceeded their subcontracting goals under the FTS 2000, TAMS, and WITS contracts, by subcontracting with small and small disadvantaged businesses for telecommunications and other services; (2) since five large subcontractors failed to develop required subcontracting plans valued at about $109 million, subcontracting opportunities for small and small disadvantaged businesses may have been missed; and (3) the General Services Administration and prime contractors lack adequate oversight to ensure that large subcontractors comply with the Small Business Act.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GSA instructed the prime contractors to negotiate plans with their subcontractors. Also, GSA is now requiring the prime contractors to submit periodic reports on the achievements of their subcontractors in providing small business subcontracting opportunities.

    Recommendation: To help ensure that small and small disadvantaged businesses are provided maximum practicable opportunity, the Administrator of General Services should strengthen oversight of contractor activities under the FTS 2000, WITS, and TAMS contracts, especially as related to development of subcontracting plans by large contractors, to ensure compliance with the Small Business Act.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

 

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