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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) compliance with the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA), focusing on: (1) DOD awards based on other than full and open competition; (2) DOD awards based on full and open competition and the submission of only one offer; and (3) whether DOD had resolved previously identified problems.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. The Secretary of Defense should take actions, such as those involving formal or informal training, written instructions, better supervision, or other improved management controls, to ensure that all personnel involved in awarding contracts of more than $25,000 understand and comply with the requirements of CICA and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) relating to written justifications for decisions not to provide for full and open competition. Such compliance should include: (1) properly preparing and certifying the justifications so that they include all required elements of information; (2) properly approving the justifications; and (3) ensuring that justifications are not certified prematurely or that significant market survey results occurring after justifications have been prematurely certified are recognized and used to avoid awarding contracts without providing for full and open competition, whenever warranted.
Closed - Implemented
On April 16, 1991, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for Procurement directed the services and defense agencies to take appropriate corrective action to implement the recommendation.
Department of Defense 2. The Secretary of Defense should take actions, such as those involving formal or informal training, written instructions, better supervision, or other improved management controls, to ensure that all personnel involved in awarding contracts of more than $25,000 understand and comply with the requirements of CICA and FAR relating to use of the Commerce Business Daily, such as: (1) the publication and content of notices of proposed awards; and (2) solicitation issuance and response time in relation to the publication dates of such notices.
Closed - Implemented
On April 16, 1991, the DASD for Procurement directed the services and defense agencies to take appropriate action to implement the recommendation.
General Services Administration 3. Those responsible for FAR, the Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), should revise FAR to state that restricting a solicitation to a specific make and model: (1) does not meet the requirement for full and open competition; and (2) requires written justification, certification, and approval for other than full and open competition, in accordance with CICA.
Closed - Implemented
The FAR has been revised to: (1) state that restricting a solicitation to a specific make and model does not meet the requirement for full and open competition; and (2) require written justification, certification, and approval for other than full and open competition, in accordance with FAR 6.3.
Department of Defense 4. Those responsible for FAR, the Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), should revise FAR to state that restricting a solicitation to a specific make and model: (1) does not meet the requirement for full and open competition; and (2) requires written justification, certification, and approval for other than full and open competition, in accordance with CICA.
Closed - Implemented
The FAR has been revised to: (1) state that restricting a solicitation to a specific make and model does not meet the requirement for full and open competition; and (2) require written justification, certification, and approval for other than full and open competition, in accordance with FAR 6.3.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 5. Those responsible for FAR, the Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), should revise FAR to state that restricting a solicitation to a specific make and model: (1) does not meet the requirement for full and open competition; and (2) requires written justification, certification, and approval for other than full and open competition, in accordance with CICA.
Closed - Implemented
The FAR has been revised to: (1) state that restricting a solicitation to a specific make and model does not meet the requirement for full and open competition; and (2) require written justification, certification, and approval for other than full and open competition, in accordance with FAR 6.3.
Office of Federal Procurement Policy 6. Those responsible for FAR, the Secretary of Defense and the Administrators of General Services, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), should revise FAR to state that restricting a solicitation to a specific make and model: (1) does not meet the requirement for full and open competition; and (2) requires written justification, certification, and approval for other than full and open competition, in accordance with CICA.
Closed - Implemented
The FAR has been revised to: (1) state that restricting a solicitation to a specific make and model does not meet the requirement for full and open competition; and (2) require written justification, certification, and approval for other than full and open competition, in accordance with FAR 6.3.

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