Interagency Contracting: Agency Actions Address Key Management Challenges, but Additional Steps Needed to Ensure Consistent Implementation of Policy Changes
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON DC
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Federal agencies collectively spend more than half a trillion dollars annually through contracts to acquire goods and services in support of their missions. One method for realizing efficiency in the procurement process is through the use of interagency contracting, where one agency either places an order directly against another agencys contract or uses the contracting services of another agency to obtain supplies or services. Interagency contracting can provide a number of benefits to agencies, helping them to streamline the procurement process, take advantage of unique expertise in a particular type of procurement, and achieve savings by leveraging the governments collective buying power. But these acquisitions also pose a variety of risks. We designated the management of interagency contracting as a high risk area in 2005, in part because of the need for stronger internal controls and clear definitions of agency roles and responsibilities.1 We subsequently reported on interagency contracting in 2010, and identified the need for governmentwide policies to govern the creation of interagency contract vehicles and better data to effectively oversee and manage them.2 Since then, key policy changes have been made to both guide the creation of new interagency contracts and strengthen the use of existing contract vehicles. For example, federal acquisition regulations have been revised and guidance has been created to require, among other things, that agencies formally document the roles and responsibilities in an interagency agreement for certain interagency acquisitions.
- Administration and Management