Persian Gulf:

U.S. Business Participation in the Reconstruction of Kuwait

NSIAD-93-69: Published: Nov 18, 1992. Publicly Released: Dec 18, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined how the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Commerce implemented their responsibilities under the Persian Gulf Conflict Supplemental Authorization and Personnel Benefits Act of 1991, focusing on: (1) Commerce's delay in meeting the reporting date for the U.S. government report on the extent of contracts awarded to U.S. companies; (2) the reliability of information that Commerce used in compiling its two reports; and (3) the degree of competition the Corps of Engineers used to award contracts and Corps efforts to encourage contracting for U.S. small and small-disadvantaged businesses.

GAO found that: (1) Commerce did not meet the reporting deadline because the President did not assign responsibility for the report until after it was due, and it took several months to complete the interagency review process; (2) the government of Kuwait awarded U.S. businesses about 50 percent of the total reconstruction business; (3) Commerce had several problems preparing reports, which included incomplete information identifying the dollar values for contracts Kuwait awarded foreign companies, the reluctance of the U.S. and Kuwaiti private sectors to provide information, and the lack of a central source for this information; (4) the Army Corps of Engineers' contracts showed that U.S. prime contractors received 54 percent of the $312.9 million awarded by the Corps, as of April 30, 1992; and (5) the Corps of Engineers awarded restoration contracts without using full and open competition in order to meet the urgent requirements of the government of Kuwait to provide emergency services and cleanup.

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