Government Contracting:

A Proposal for a Program To Study the Profitability of Government Contractors

NSIAD-87-175: Published: Sep 17, 1987. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 1987.

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GAO proposed legislation to study the profitability of government contractors and: (1) require major government contractors to annually report financial results to an official designated by the President; (2) define criteria for determining which companies will be subject to reporting requirements; and (3) create a Department of Defense (DOD) Profit Reporting Program.

GAO believes the program should require: (1) a consistent methodology to evaluate profitability; (2) a means to establish the reliability of contractor-furnished data; and (3) mandatory contractor participation. GAO found that contractors and agencies remain opposed to the program because they believe that: (1) DOD ad hoc studies of contractor profitability would be adequate; (2) the costs of the study would outweigh the benefits; and (3) the government could not adequately protect proprietary information.

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