The General Services Administration Needs To Improve Its Cleaning and Guard Contracting Activities

LCD-80-21: Published: Mar 12, 1980. Publicly Released: Mar 12, 1980.

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The General Services Administration's (GSA) contracting activities for cleaning and guard services were reviewed. As of March 31, 1979, GSA had active cleaning and guard contracts at an annual cost of over $59 million and $38 million respectively.

GSA has not always been able to justify the amounts paid to cleaning contractors because of problems in administering the contracts. GSA made only 24 percent of the required inspections in the three GSA regions reviewed. In addition, GSA did not adequately document and report the quality of cleaning to provide evidence of satisfactory or unsatisfactory contract performance. Further, contracting procedures tend to discourage contractors from seeking more cost effective and efficient ways to provide the cleaning services since they permit deductions from monthly payments, regardless of performance, when a contractor fails to work a minimum number of labor hours. Also, GSA has been unable to award guard contracts competitively because of administrative problems in managing annual contracts. As a result, GSA has denied guard contractors an opportunity to compete for contracts by noncompetitively negotiating extensions with incumbent contractors. Another difficulty that GSA has with managing guard contracts is that GSA is limited to a 1-year contracting authority.

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