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Defense Contracts: Improved Information Sharing Could Help DoD Determine Whether Items Are Commercial and Reasonably Priced


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DOD buys goods and services from the commercial market to take advantage of new innovations and save on acquisition costs. However, the departments process for determining whether an item can be purchased commerciallyand, at a fair and reasonable pricecan be long and challenging in certain situations. GAO was asked to review this process. This report identifies (1) factors that influenced DODs commercial item and price reasonableness determinations, and (2) the extent to which DOD has taken steps to make information available to facilitate thesedeterminations. To conduct this work, GAO examined federal regulations and guidance and selected case studies, which included a non-generalizable sample of 15 contracts awarded between fiscal years 2010 and 2018. GAO identified the case studies based on input from multiple sources that those contracts involved commercial item or price reasonableness determination challenges. GAO interviewed government and contractor officials responsible for those contracts. GAO recommends that DOD develop a strategy for how information related to commerciality and price reasonableness determinations should be shared across the department, including making improvements to the existing database and determining responsibilities for its funding and upkeep. DOD agreed with GAOs recommendation and stated that actions will be taken starting in 2018 to address it.



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