Army Procurement:

Contracting for Management and Operation of Government-Owned Ammunition Plants

NSIAD-88-72: Published: Mar 8, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 18, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's process of selecting the Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant's contract for competition to determine whether the selection process complied with the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984.

GAO found that: (1) the Army's evaluation criteria and ratings were flawed and inconsistent; (2) there was no indication that the process was biased toward selection of the Louisiana plant; (3) the selection process did not comply with the act, which required the Army to open all of its plant operating contracts to competition or justify its failure to do so; (4) by reviewing all plant contracts for competitive potential, the Army appeared to be giving up its justification of noncompetitive procurement on the grounds that competition would adversely impact defense production; and (5) while the Army contended that it lacked resources to open all of the contracts to competition, it acknowledged that it had not requested those resources.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On July 21, 1988, additional guidance was issued by the Competition Advocate to reemphasize the allowable FAR exception to competition and that each procurement must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commanding General, Army Armament, Munitions and Chemical Command, to comply with the Competition in Contracting Act by either opening all ammunition plant operating contracts to full and open competition as they expire or justifying, on a case-by-case basis, the use of other than competitive procedures based on one of the exceptions in the act.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army


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