An Organized Approach to Improving Federal Procurement and Acquisition Practices

PSAD-77-128: Published: Sep 30, 1977. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1977.

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During the past decade, federal procurement and acquisition practices have been under extensive review by numerous congressional committees, the executive branch, and various study groups. Basic new directions in policies are beginning to take shape, and a new government-wide modern statutory foundation is under active consideration by Congress.

Large government agencies depend on systems, products, and services obtained from private enterprise to do their jobs. These activities cost about $70 billion a year and involve about 60,000 federal workers. Over the past 30 years, procurement has expanded and become more complex. Efforts to solve problems have resulted in a complex patchwork of laws, methods, regulations, procedures, and administrative requirements. Currently, there are no procurement research programs in some agencies. In others there are a few relatively new ones. Civilian agencies generally are reluctant to undertake procurement research. Although some agencies expect the newly emerging Federal Procurement Institute to carry this burden, the Institute will take some time to become operationally effective, and even then it will not perform research roles for the individual agencies.

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