USDA Procurement:

Information on Activities During Fiscal Year 1996

RCED-97-61R: Published: Feb 18, 1997. Publicly Released: Feb 18, 1997.

Additional Materials:


Robert A. Robinson
(202) 512-9894


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

1GAO provided information on the scope of the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) procurement activities and how those activities are carried out for each USDA contracting activity, focusing on: (1) the number and value of fiscal year (FY) 1996 procurement transactions; (2) the activity's organizational structure; (3) its FY 1996 cost of operation; (4) the regulations, policies, and procedures used in awarding and administering procurement actions; and (5) the audits or reviews that have been performed on their operations.

GAO noted that: (1) in FY 1996, USDA obligated about $1.5 billion through various procurement instruments; (2) USDA's contracting activities mirror the decentralized organization of USDA; (3) generally, one agency in a mission area performs contracting for all of the agencies making up that mission area; (4) this contracting activity usually consists of a headquarters office that is part of the agency's headquarters management/administration function and a number of field purchasing offices that report to the head of the field program activity, not the headquarters procurement office; (5) the cost of administering the procurement function within each agency is not available; (6) USDA generally does not break down the cost of its administrative activities such as procurement in such a way that the costs for that function can be identified; (7) each contracting activity is required to follow the requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulation and USDA's own Agriculture Acquisition Regulation; (8) these regulations may also be supplemented with mission-specific policies and procedures generated by the contracting activity; (9) internal agency oversight within the contracting activities generally occurs through periodic reviews conducted at the individual purchasing offices; (10) in most cases, these reviews are performed by headquarters procurement personnel; (11) however, the agencies often do not formally track findings and recommendations to ensure that corrective action takes place; (12) in addition, USDA's Office of Inspector General has performed a number of contract-related reviews during the past 3 fiscal years; and (13) however, these reviews have focused on specific contracts and do not represent broad-based, regular oversight of the procurement function.

Mar 22, 2018

Mar 14, 2018

Mar 13, 2018

Mar 8, 2018

Mar 7, 2018

Feb 28, 2018

Feb 27, 2018

Feb 23, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here