COVID-19 Contracting: Actions Needed to Enhance Transparency and Oversight of Selected Awards, Report to Congressional Committees [open pdf - 4MB]
From the Highlights: "In March 2020, Congress passed the CARES [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security] Act as part of the federal response to COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019]. The act had certain provisions for federal contracting, including providing additional flexibilities. Contracting plays a critical role in the pandemic response as agencies obligate billions of dollars for goods and services. The act also included a provision for GAO [U.S. Government Accountability Office] to review federal contracting in response to COVID-19. This report examines, among other objectives, the extent to which the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security--the only agencies that reported using other transaction agreements in response to COVID-19 in the federal procurement database--used such agreements, including awards to consortia, and oversight of such use. GAO analyzed federal procurement data as of March 2021; reviewed a nongeneralizable sample of 15 agreements selected based on high dollar amounts, agency, a mix of products and services, among other criteria; reviewed agency policies; and interviewed agency officials. GAO is making 14 recommendations to selected agencies, to improve the transparency of agreement awards in the federal procurement database and update policies to improve the oversight of agreements awarded through consortium management firms. The agencies agreed with 11 of the recommendations and did not agree with three of them. GAO continues to believe the recommendations are valid, as discussed in the report."
Government Accountability Office: https://www.gao.gov/