Federal Government's Use of Consulting Services

T-GGD-88-39: Published: Jun 13, 1988. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 1988.

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GAO discussed the federal government's use of consultants, focusing on the nature and extent of agencies' monitoring and reporting of consultant use. GAO noted that: (1) varying interpretations and definitions of consulting services and reporting system limitations have caused agencies to understate their use of consulting services; (2) agencies' use of consultants in fiscal year 1987, reported at about $245 million, actually ranged from $4 billion to $16 billion; (3) the Office of Management and Budget's revision of guidance clarified its consulting services definition, but did not address reporting system limitations or all major procurement categories that could potentially involve consulting services; and (4) out of 19 federal agencies it reviewed, only 9 performed an annual mandatory Inspector General evaluation of consulting services.

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    2019 Update
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