P.L. 480 Title I Transportation Issues

T-NSIAD-90-8: Published: Nov 7, 1989. Publicly Released: Nov 7, 1989.

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GAO discussed the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) management of ocean transportation of Public Law 83-480 commodities. GAO noted that: (1) USDA implemented open bidding for commodity transportation to minimize problems in the bidding and negotiation process; (2) recipient countries' delays in paying vessel owners increased commodity shipping costs; (3) the clustering of tenders during the third and fourth quarters of the fiscal year increased freight costs, since such clustering caused a heavy demand for a limited number of vessels; and (4) government and shipping industry officials have proposed that USDA assume the country agent role because of concerns about country agent fees, questionable payments, and tenders structured to favor particular vessel owners.

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