Effectiveness of GSA's Actions To Improve the Multiple Award Schedule Program

PSAD-80-53: Published: Aug 22, 1980. Publicly Released: Aug 22, 1980.

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GAO reviewed the actions which the General Services Administration (GSA) has taken to improve the multiple award schedule program. The objective was to determine if GSA efforts to correct the deficiencies noted in prior reports have produced effective results. Under the schedule program, GSA awards contracts to multiple suppliers of similar items. The users order directly from the suppliers at prices that are supposed to be favorable to the Government. Because of GSA ineffective management of the program, the Government was buying commercial products of higher quality than needed, price competition was absent, the lowest possible prices were not obtained, and most of the 4 million schedule items did not belong in the program. GAO had recommended that GSA develop criteria for determining which items should be procured competitively and which should be purchased through multiple awards; and for those relatively few items which should remain on multiple award schedules, GSA should improve the contracting process.

GSA only recently addressed the crucial issues of reducing the number of schedules and improving the multiple award contracting process. The schedules continue in force and still represent a major source of supply for Federal agencies. Few procedures to implement GSA plans for improvement have been developed and GSA has not yet solved the schedule program's basic deficiencies identified in prior GAO reports. Congressional oversight continues to be necessary to ensure that GSA completes needed program reforms in a timely manner.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Matter: The Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service, General Government, Committee on Appropriations should place GSA under a mandatory schedule to comply with the timeframes stipulated in the GSA Office of Acquisition Policy statement for improving the multiple award schedule program; and require GSA to report the status of its improvement actions by submitting copies of its quarterly progress reports made to GSA's Office of Acquisition Policy.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Administrator of GSA should intensify efforts to complete action on the recommendations contained in the May 1979 GAO report, strengthen procedures to assure compliance with the policy statement establishing firm cutoff dates for receipt of offers, eliminate vendor marketing catagories as a basis of bid evaluation and consider price together with discount when evaluating offers, and establish procedures to assure that methods used in setting the maximum order limitation are applied consistently and procurement regulations are followed.

    Agency Affected:


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