The Defense Contracting Command-Washington (DCC-W) agreed with the GAO findings concerning out-of-scope work for the orders awarded to SAIC for the Iraqi Media Network and the subject matter experts. Contracting officers ordering the out-of-scope work have been made aware that their actions were improper. DCC-W has instituted agency wide training in a number of topics, including the need to carefully review the scope of work of a contract to determine what may be legitimately ordered from that contract. This training will be periodically repeated. In addition, its post award reviews will include an assessment of whether requiringn work is within the scope of the basic contract.
According to DOD, the Procuring Contracting Officer for the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract reviews each proposed scope of work, which will result in a task order, and makes a determination whether the action is within the scope of the contract and obtains appropriate legal advice as necessary. DOD did not believe that any additional action was necessary.
In June 2004, GAO reported that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not fully comply with applicable laws and regulations governing competition when it awarded contracts and task orders to support rebuilding of Iraq’s electrical infrastructure. In this regard, the Corps of Engineers used limited competition to award 3 contracts and then issued task orders that exceeded the maximum value of these contracts. Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation, such actions required the Corps of Engineers to submit a justification and approval document to a senior agency official for review and approval. The Army subsequently reported, however, that no provision existed for an “after-the-fact” review and approval of such documents. To address the deficiencies, in February 2007, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) issued a memorandum that noted he had reviewed the documents and concluded that the timely submission of the documents would have resulted in their approval. The Army further noted that processes have been instituted at the Corps of Engineers to ensure that future justification and approval documents requiring approval by senior officials are submitted and approved prior to contract award.
DOD has defined, or reached agreement on key terms and conditions, all of the six contract actions identified in our June 2004 report. We noted in our March 2005 report entitled, “High-Level DOD Coordination is Needed to Further Improve the Management of the Army’s LOGCAP Contract,” that one component–the Army Field Support Command–had made improvements in defined task orders issued under the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract. In that regard, the Army Field Support Command had defined the four task orders we identified in our June 2004 report for which they were responsible. Similarly, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported that they had defined the task orders to restore Iraq’s electrical infrastructure. As of June 2006, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has defined all the task orders under the contract to restore Iraq’s oil infrastructure.
The Department of Defense (DOD) has agreed that it needs to assure that sufficient acquisition staff and other resources are available to support contingency, reconstruction, and stability operations, but DOD’s actions to date provide little assurance that it will be be able to do so. According to DOD officials, DOD has taken, or is the process of taking, a number of actions to improve acquisition planning and support for future contingency operations, including established a Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell, that, among other things, is reviewing the capability to effectively and efficiently award and administer contracts for theater requirements. Further, in November 2005, DOD issued directive 3000.05, Military Support for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction Operations, which, in part, required that DOD ensure proper oversight of contracts in stability operations and ensure U.S. commanders deployed in foreign countries are able to secure contract support rapidly. DOD also issued in January 2008 a Joint Contingency Contracting Guide and added guidance on emergency acquisitions in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement in January 2007 and September 2008. Despite these efforts, however, significant challenges remain. For example, in October 2007, the report by the Commission on Army Acquisition and Program Management in Expeditionary Operations found that the Army’s acquisition workforce was neither adequately staff, trained, structured or empowered to meet the needs of deployed forces. In part, the Commission called for the Army to increase its acquisition workforce by 1,400 military and civilian employees to meet current needs. Further, in July 2008, GAO reported that while DOD had made some progress in augmenting the personnel assigned to provide oversight of private security contractors, it was unclear whether the increase could be sustained due to staffing and resource constraints. The shortfalls that continue to be experienced in Iraq, with the increase workload anticipated as the United States increases its investment in reconstruction and stabilization efforts in Afghanistan, raises significant questions as to whether DOD has learned from its lessons in Iraq and developed an effective strategy for assuring adequate staff and resources are available.