GAO Mission and Operations:

Catalogue of GAO and Inspectors General Reports on Contracting Issues for Fiscal Years 1997 through 2002

GAO-03-504SP: Published: Mar 31, 2003. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 2003.

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The federal government spent more than $230 billion through contracts with private industry in fiscal year 2001. Ten Executive Branch agencies account for almost 95 percent of this spending. Past reviews by Executive Branch agency inspectors general, military-department audit agencies, and the General Accounting Office (GAO) have created an extensive body of reports on the procedures and practices that federal agencies use to plan, award, and administer contracts. These reviews identified weaknesses in the contracting processes of individual agencies and contracting challenges these agencies have in common. Consequently, to facilitate literate searches of the reports concerning federal contracting matters, we compiled a catalogue of information from reports and testimonies by the 10 agencies' inspectors general, military department audit agencies, and GAO. Such a catalogue could be useful to the oversight community and others in determing (1) common contracting issues identified across multiple agencies and (2) the potential contracting-risk areas and gaps in contracting oversight across these agencies.

This catalogue contains information about contracting matters identified in reports and testimonies issued during fiscal years 1997 through 2002. Each catalogue record includes the agency that conducted the audit or review; the audited agency; audit report number, title, and date issued; a summary of the reported contracting issues; and the contracting processes or functions identified as weaknesses. Users of the catalogue can conduct a search by any of these items. The catalogue includes a brief summary of each report's findings. In most cases, an electronic copy of the full report or testimony can be obtained from the reporting agency's Web site, or a hard copy document can be obtained from the reporting agency. This catalogue is intended to facilitate searches of reports. Users of the catalogue should follow up with the agencies to determine what actions they took to address the findings and recommendations. The catalogue is available in two formats: (1) an Access database and (2) a data extract text file. We also included (1) a list of agency Web sites where users can obtain copies of complete report identified in the catalogue, (2) a glossary of contracting terms used to categorize the contracting issues identified in the reports, and (3) a tip sheet on conducing simple Access searches of the catalogue.

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