GAO says More Than Half of COVID-19 Government Contracts Not Competitively Awarded at HHS, VA, DoD

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge of spending among federal agencies, particularly those with health and emergency response missions. As of June 11, agencies spent upward of $17.8 billion, much of which was not awarded through full and open competition.”

“Auditors at the Government Accountability Office did a deep dive into Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation, searching for all contract obligations tagged with the COVID-19 National Interest Action code, as well as any awards containing the terms ‘coronavirus’ and ‘COVID-19’ in the contract description. In order to focus specifically on the pandemic response, ‘For contract actions over $1 million, we removed obligations that were identified in the contract description as not related to COVID-19,’ according to a report published Wednesday…”

“The bulk of spending went toward medical and surgical equipment, including ventilators, respirators and personal protective equipment for health care workers. A much smaller but not inconsiderable amount—$2.1 billion—was put toward research and development of a vaccine to prevent future spread of the disease.”

“The report notes about $513 million was spent on ‘financial management support services,’ $500 million of which was used by the Small Business Administration for ‘data analysis and loan recommendation services.’”

“But of the nearly $18 billion spent as of mid-June, more than half—53%—were not competitively awarded…” Read the full article here.

Source: GAO: More Than Half of COVID-19 Government Contracts Not Competitively Awarded – By Aaron Boyd, July 29, 2020. Nextgov.

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