GAO found that the Army had awarded two sole-source contracts, totaling almost $495 million and turned again to the sole source contracts in a third acquisition phase despite knowing that its competed contracts for the same services, awarded in the second acquisition phase, had cost 25 percent less than the initial sole source contracts. The Army has re-solicited all 54 contract security guard contracts using full and open competition with a small business set-aside. Contracts at 34 installations were awarded using full and open competition, while at 20 installations contracts were awarded using the small business set aside.
GAO found that the Army’s strategy of using award fees to motivate contractors had resulted in over $18 million in fee payouts for complying with the basic contractual requirements–not for exceeding what the contract required. GAO identified a number of concerns with the award-fee process, questioned the continued need, and recommended removing award-fee provisions from future contracts and task orders. The Army concurred and removed the award-fee provisions under the re-solicitation of all of the contracts under full and open competition.
GAO found the Army’s procedures do not provide assurance that contract security guards are adequately screened and put the Army at risk of staffing its gates with contract security guards who are not qualified for the job and in fact has resulted in applicants with criminal histories, including felons being employed as guards. GAO recommended that the DOD’s revised antiterrorism standards be implemented into Army policy for screening of contract security guards as deemed suitable. The Army has incorporated the language into the Army Civilian Police and Security Guard Program.
GAO also recommended that the Army’s Installation Management Agency be directed to use the Army’s Crime Records Center and the National Crime Information Center databases to supplement initial screening of contract security guards. The Army now requires installations to use these data bases to supplement initial screening on contract security guards. This guidance was published in the Army Civilian Police and Security Guard Program and also is included the performance work statement.
GAO found that the Army may not have in place adequately trained contract security guards protecting its installations because contractors are given responsibility to conduct nearly all of the training and found instances where the contractors were not complying with requirements to track and maintain records of employee training and where contractors’ training techniques were inconsistent. GAO recommended using a standardized record-keeping format for contractors to show that the guards have met all training requirements. The Army updated the performance work statement for contractor security guard services to include a standardized record-keeping form for contractors to show that guards have met all training requirements.
GAO found that the Army may not have in place adequately trained contract security guards protecting its installations because contractors are given responsibility to conduct nearly all of the training and found that Army personnel did not provide sufficient oversight to know whether training is actually conducted in accordance with contractual provisions. GAO recommended that installation performance monitors review training files to ensure that initial training certification is achieved as well as subsequent annual recertification. The Army has revised the Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan to provide clear and detailed instructions to inspect all individual training records and certifications.
GAO found that the Army may not have in place adequately trained contract security guards protecting its installations because contractors are given responsibility to conduct nearly all of the training with insufficient oversight to know whether training is actually conducted including weapons-qualification training. GAO recommended that an Army official be required to monitor and certify contractor training of guards, especially weapons-qualification training. The Army guidance on contractor training was incorporated into the Army Civilian Police and Security Guard Program manual and the quality assurance surveillance plan and performance work statement now include the requirement for Army officials to monitor and certify contractor training. There is now a requirement for an additional contracting officer’s representative at each contract region to monitor weapons qualification.