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Highlights

GAO discussed various proposals to reform the government's procurement process under the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act. GAO noted that: (1) reforming the government's procurement system will require taking greater advantage of the commercial marketplace, simplifying the procurement system, and making greater investments in people and systems; (2) the government could take full advantage of the commercial marketplace if it exempted all commercial items and services from inhibitive federal purchase requirements; (3) the government could simplify its purchases if purchase thresholds are increased to $200,000; (4) the implementation of the Federal Acquisition Computer Network (FACNET) should enable the private sector to respond to procurements more quickly, reduce staff times, and result in substantial savings; (5) acquisitions that are not conducted through FACNET should be subject to a 15-day delay and remain open for at least 30 days; (6) significant savings could be obtained if contracting officers limit the competitive range to no more than the top three rated firms; (7) the protest process could be streamlined by deciding protest cases by a single statutory standard of review and conducting preaward debriefings; (8) the government could take greater advantage of the commercial marketplace by eliminating the Buy American Act's domestic production requirements; and (9) the government should consider reducing some of the small business preference rules and streamlining the section 8(a) program.

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