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IDENTIFYING THE MAJOR PROBLEMS
MAY 15, 1981
Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affairs
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
WILLIAM V. ROTH, JR., Delaware, Chairman
CHARLES H. PERCY, Illinois
TED STEVENS, Alaska
CHARLES MCC. MATHIAS, JR., Maryland
WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine
DAVID DURENBERGER, Minnesota
MACK MATTINGLY, Georgia
WARREN B. RUDMAN, New Hampshire
THOMAS F. EAGLETON, Missouri
JOHN GLENN, Ohio
JIM SASSER, Tennessee
CARL LEVIN, Michigan
JOAN M. MCENTEE, Staff Director
IRA S. SHAPIRO, Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel
OVERSIGHT OF THE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT
FRIDAY, MAY 15, 1981
SUBCOMMITTEE ON FEDERAL EXPENDITURES,
RESEARCH, AND RULES,
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS,
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