Acquisition Reform: Review of Selected Best-Value Contracts Page: 3 of 8
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During fiscal years 1996 and 1997, military and civilian buying organizations awarded 1,954
Within this universe of contracts, we selected 37 buying organizations so as to cover the
broad range of military and civilian agencies, the goods and services they purchased, and
geographic locations.4 These organizations were not selected randomly; consequently, our
results cannot be generalized to all buying organizations. For each selected buying
organization, we reviewed all contracts meeting our review criteria. They totaled 404
awards, or about 21 percent of the universe. We reviewed solicitation information for these
contracts and identified 262 whose solicitation stated that the government was willing to
consider other than the lowest offeror.5
In those instances where awards were made to other than the lowest offeror, we reviewed
documentation in the contract file to determine the benefit the government expected to
receive in exchange for the premium. When documentation was not clear, we discussed our
analyses with appropriate agency officials. We also obtained and reviewed federal
acquisition regulations and buying organization guidance related to contracting by
negotiation and best-value procurement, including the recently revised FAR Part 15, which
covers negotiated procurements.
We conducted our work from June 1998 to April 1999 in accordance with generally accepted
government auditing standards.
AND OUR EVALUATION
We provided a draft of this letter to the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Office of
Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) for formal review and comment. We also provided
copies to the civilian agencies included in our review. In its comments, DOD concurred with
our findings. DOD's comments are enclosed. OFPP did not provide written comments but in
oral comments recommended that we state that the best-value awards we discuss here-those
made to other than the lowest-priced offeror-reflect only one type of best-value approach.
This comment has been incorporated where appropriate. The civilian agencies generally had
no comments on the draft.
4 The agencies were the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force; the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy,
Health and Human Services, Justice, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs; the General Services Administration;
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and the Social Security Administration.
5 Other contracts were eliminated from our review because they were to be awarded to the lowest technically
acceptable offeror, they were incorrectly coded in the databases and did not meet our criteria, or information
was not available.
GAO/NSIAD-99-93R Acquisition Reform
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United States. General Accounting Office. Acquisition Reform: Review of Selected Best-Value Contracts, text, April 14, 1999; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300991/m1/3/: accessed September 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.