Procurement Practices of Cities Under Federal Grant Funds

PSAD-77-88: Published: Apr 1, 1977. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 1977.

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A questionnaire was sent to different city governments to obtain an overview of city procurement practices and of the problems that cities experienced in spending Federal grant funds. The responses were compiled by GAO.

Responses from the cities indicated several areas where procurement improvements could be effected. It was found that: (1) the role of the central purchasing activity's involvement in the procurement functions needs to be strengthened; (2) contract administration is generally left to the individual city departments; (3) opportunities exist for consolidating the purchases of similar items to save on administrative costs and to obtain volume discounts; (4) public schools generally have separate purchasing departments and, thus, do not benefit from consolidating purchases with city operations; (5) surplus or excess property is generally not transferred from one Federal grant program to another; (6) cities frequently do not participate in cooperative procurement activities with nearby governmental entities; (7) cities expressed little interest in being permitted to purchase through Federal supply sources; and (8) most cities felt that pricing information from the General Services Administration would benefit their purchasing activities. The cities also favored standardizing grant procurement requirements, felt that grantor agency information requirements varied substantially, believed grantor reporting requirements were more than necessary, and thought Federal guidelines were of little assistance in resolving procurement problems.

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