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Highlights

From fiscal year 2004 through fiscal year 2008, agencies spent over $300 billion on contracts which include award fees. While many agencies use award fee contracts, over 95 percent of the government's spending using this contract type in fiscal year 2008 occurred at five: the departments of Defense (DOD), Energy (DOE), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In December 2007, the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Office of Federal Procurement Policy issued guidance to chief acquisition officers and procurement executives across the government that echoed several recommendations we made in 2005 on the use of award fees and emphasized positive practices to be implemented by all agencies. GAO's statement today is based on our May 29, 2009, report, Federal Contracting: Guidance on Award Fees Has Led to Better Practices But is Not Consistently Applied (GAO-09-630). Like the report, this statement addresses how agencies are implementing OMB's guidance. Specifically, we (1) identified the actions agencies have taken to revise or develop policies and guidance to reflect OMB guidance on using award fees, (2) determined the extent to which current practices for using award fee contracts are consistent with the new guidance, and (3) identified the extent to which agencies collect and analyze information on award fees to evaluate their use and share that information within their agencies.

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