GAO's Comments on the Reauthorization of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy

T-NSIAD-88-23: Published: Mar 25, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 1988.

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GAO discussed its support of legislative reauthorization of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). GAO found that: (1) although it created OFPP to provide executive branch procurement policy leadership and coordinate federal procurement policies, Congress has received increasing criticism about the complexity and poor management of federal procurement; (2) while the 1974 federal budget outlays for procurement, research, and development were about $97 billion, estimated outlays for 1988 were about $159 billion; and (3) the factors that contributed to uneven OFPP performance included lack of strong management and leadership, lack of staff resources, and inadequate support from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). GAO believes that: (1) the creation of a regulatory council would assist the OFPP Administrator in more effectively performing its functions and provide a link between various procurement executives; (2) assigning OFPP the authority to make, promulgate, amend, rescind, and interpret cost accounting standards (CAS) was appropriate; and (3) OMB should ensure that the Administrator's post is not vacant for long periods. GAO also believes that Congress may wish to consider: (1) clarifying the language relating to CAS applicability; (2) phase the initial term of office of CAS Board members so that all members' terms do not expire at one time; (3) raise the compensation level of Board members, who are not officers or employees of the federal government; and (4) create a profitability reporting program to correct deficiencies in certain defense procurement policies.

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