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81-896 O

PART 1

IDENTIFYING THE MAJOR PROBLEMS

MAY 15, 1981

Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affairs

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COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

WILLIAM V. ROTH, JR., Delaware, Chairman

CHARLES H. PERCY, Illinois

TED STEVENS, Alaska

CHARLES MCC. MATHIAS, JR., Maryland
JOHN C. DANFORTH, Missouri

WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine

DAVID DURENBERGER, Minnesota

MACK MATTINGLY, Georgia

WARREN B. RUDMAN, New Hampshire

THOMAS F. EAGLETON, Missouri
HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington
LAWTON CHILES, Florida
SAM NUNN, Georgia

JOHN GLENN, Ohio

JIM SASSER, Tennessee
DAVID PRYOR, Arkansas

CARL LEVIN, Michigan

JOAN M. MCENTEE, Staff Director

IRA S. SHAPIRO, Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel

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OVERSIGHT OF THE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT

SYSTEM

FRIDAY, MAY 15, 1981

U.S. SENATE,

SUBCOMMITTEE ON FEDERAL EXPENDITURES,

RESEARCH, AND RULES,

COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS,
Washington, D.C.

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:10 a.m., in room 3302, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. John C. Danforth (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Staff present: Christopher R. Brewster, chief counsel and staff director; Patricia A. Otto, chief clerk; Ronald A. Chiodo, minority staff director; and Jerry W. Cox, counsel.

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR DANFORTH

Senator DANFORTH. The subcommittee will come to order.

A few weeks back I took this subcommittee to St. Louis to meet with a number of contractors who do business with the Federal Government.

We asked them to tell us about the problems they had encountered in doing business with the Government and we asked for their recommendations on how we could improve the procurement system.

We heard from construction contractors, small business contractors, and defense contractors.

One witness showed me the survey markers which I have with me today. These are the two survey markers [indicating]. They were manufactured for the Army Corps of Engineers. When used, they are embedded in cement and placed in the ground. Weeds grow over them.

One of these survey markers-and they appear to be identicalmeets Government specifications which were quite specific. The other survey marker does not meet Government specifications. The survey marker which flunks the test had the misfortune to be miscut by the smallest fraction of an inch.

As a consequence, the slot in the shaft which is placed in the ground and embedded in cement is slightly shiny. It still does the job, but it flunks the specifications.

Therefore, it is so much junk. The problem in meeting the Government specifications was compounded by the fact that the Government had even gone so far as to dictate how the marker was to be made-in sand molds of particular composition and so on.

But the Government way of making the marker, I was told, was bad foundry practice. No self-respecting manufacturer would ever

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