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GAO discussed its review of the use of consultants in the defense acquisition process, focusing on: (1) how the Department of Defense (DOD) and defense contractors used consulting services; (2) DOD management and reporting of consulting services; and (3) how conflict-of-interest regulations and their proposed changes applied to the use of consultants. GAO found that: (1) DOD used consultants to obtain services in a wide range of areas, including such sensitive areas as acquisition planning, solicitations, and source selection; (2) the Navy recently developed plans to reduce its use of contractors in sensitive areas; (3) contractors used a variety of consulting services, generally for management or technical expertise; and (4) the Army, Navy, and Air Force inconsistently identified and reported consulting services. GAO also found that recent legislation: (1) requires the Office of Federal Procurement Policy to issue conflict-of-interest standards governing consulting services; and (2) cites specific prohibited conduct on the part of government procurement officials.

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