Procurement of Interoffice Moving Services by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare

PSAD-79-60: Published: Mar 28, 1979. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 1979.

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Following a complaint from a local moving and storage firm, GAO reviewed the procedures and practices used by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) to obtain interoffice moving services.

Except for calendar year 1976, HEW has been obtaining its own interoffice moving services since 1972. These services involve the transfer of office furniture and equipment between HEW locations within the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. In calendar year 1976, HEW used the General Services Administration's (GSA) assistance to award a contract. HEW officials indicated that they were dissatisfied with the assistance provided by the contractor under the GSA contract and tried to convince GSA to default the contractor. The Code of Federal Regulations requires that "All purchases and contracts, whether by formal advertising or by negotiation, shall be made on a competitive basis to the maximum practicable extent." The Washington Facilities Division of HEW selects moving firms without the benefit of getting adequate price competition. On the basis of hourly rates charged for moving services under current GSA contracts for similar services, HEW could have saved more than $70,000 of the more than $600,000 spent in 1978 on interoffice moving. Controls over moving services requests and payments for services received are inadequate.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: HEW should: cease its present method of obtaining interoffice moving services; seek assistance from GSA in awarding a contract or follow prescribed regulations by awarding a contract, through competition, to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder; use an indefinite quantity contract to handle moves estimated to cost over $10,000; have each move estimated to cost over $10,000 awarded separately to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder on a firm fixed-price basis; and have individual components establish adequate checks and balances to prevent unnecessary moves and other potential abuses.

    Agency Affected:


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