Federal Agencies Should Be Given General Multiyear Contracting Authority for Supplies and Services

PSAD-78-54: Published: Jan 10, 1978. Publicly Released: Jan 10, 1978.

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Federal agencies operating under annual appropriations generally are prohibited from entering into contracts for needs occurring beyond the year for which the appropriation is made. Multiyear contracts entitle the Government to purchase services or supplies from contractors for more than 1 year. The Commission on Government Procurement has recommended that Congress enact legislation to permit multiyear contracting of supplies and services using annual or multiple-year appropriations.

Federal agencies with either funding or statutory authority for multiyear procurement benefit from reduced contract prices and other advantages. Annual savings of $3 million resulting from multiyear procurement were identified on 26 contracts having an annual cost of $14 million. The benefits of multiyear procurement include: contract prices may be reduced for agency service and supply needs, Federal agencies' administrative costs can be reduced, the quality of performance and service could increase, and competition could increase for the initial award of a Government contract. Generally, the advantages of multiyear procurement outweigh the disadvantages.

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