Legal Opinion Concerning Synopsis Requirements for Certain Types of Automatic Data Processing Equipment and Services Acquisitions

Gao ID: T-OGC-90-3 November 16, 1989

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed its August 1989 legal opinion concerning the legality of the General Services Administration's (GSA) establishment of a $50,000 threshold for requiring publication in the Commerce Business Daily (CBD) of orders placed under nonmandatory schedule contracts for automatic data processing (ADP) equipment and services. GAO noted that: (1) statutory provisions required executive agencies to publish CBD notices of ADP services and equipment acquisitions exceeding $25,000; (2) although a statutory provision allowed executive agency heads to waive CBD notice when such notice was inappropriate or unreasonable, the provision did not authorize GSA to establish the $50,000 threshold; (3) executive agencies were not required to publish CBD notices of ADP acquisition orders exceeding $25,000, if they were placed under indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts, since such orders were similar to requirements-type contracts; and (4) when used with the term basic ordering agreement, the term similar arrangement referred to the placement of an order that resulted in a new contract, such as the placement of an order under a nonmandatory schedule contract.

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