The Role of the U.S. Tea Examiner Office in Procurement of Tea by the Department of Defense

NSIAD-84-126: Published: Jun 22, 1984. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the functions of the U.S. Tea Examiner's Office, focusing on: (1) the practices used to test teas obtained under Department of Defense (DOD) contracts; and (2) allegations that the Office discriminates against small businesses.

GAO found that the procedures used to test teas procured for DOD have been in effect for more than 30 years and are undertaken at a nominal cost by the Office. GAO found no evidence to suggest that the testing favored any type of tea firm, but believes that the testing process would be improved if the Office: (1) implemented a blind testing process; and (2) used an ad hoc panel of tea experts in the appeals process.

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