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Defense Organization Officials Did Not Consistently Comply With Requirements for Assessing Contractor Performance DODIG-2017-052

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Objective

We determined whether officials from Defense organizations completed comprehensive and timely contractor performance assessment reports (PARs) for nonsystems contracts as required by Federal and DoD policies. Nonsystems contracts include contracts for operations support, services, and information technology. This is the fourth in a series of audits of DoD compliance with policies for evaluating contractor performance.

Background

The purpose of a PAR is to provide source selection officials with information on contractor past performance. Government officials prepare PARs in the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System. The audit universe consisted of 1,622 contracts, valued at $75.9 billion, for which officials prepared PARs for 684 contracts, valued at $36.2 billion. We selected a nonstatistical sample of four contracting offices and 150 contracts, valued at $39.5 billion. Of these 150 contracts, we reviewed 53 PARs, with a total contract value o f $10.7 billion. See Appendix A for a complete discussion of the audit universe and sampling methodology.

Finding

Officials at the four Defense organizations we audited— U.S. Transportation Command, Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization (contracting office for the Defense Information Systems Agency), Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy, and DLA Troop Support—registered1 or had a valid reason for not registering 150 contracts and prepared PARs for all contracts that required an evaluation. However, officials did not consistently comply with requirements for evaluating contractor past performance. Specifically, officials at Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, DLA Energy, and DLA Troop Support did not prepare 13 of 53 PARs within the 120-day required timeframe. Additionally, officials at all four contracting offices also prepared 49 of 53 PARs that did not include sufficient written narratives to justify the ratings given, ratings for all required evaluation factors, or sufficient descriptions of the contract purpose.

These conditions occurred because:

  • organization-specific procedures did not have clear guidance for preparing PARs in a timely manner or did not address timeliness;
  • assessors did not understand PAR rating definitions or evaluation factors;
  • assessors did not take current training or properly implement training; and
  • organization-specific procedures did not require reviews of PARs to ensure compliance with the FAR.

As a result, Federal source selection officials did not have access to timely, accurate, and complete past performance assessment information needed to make informed decisions related to contract awards. 

Recommendations

We recommend that Defense organization officials develop and implement procedures to:

  • register contracts,
  • prepare PARs within 120 days,
  • require that assessors take training for writing PARs, and
  • evaluate PARs for quality. 

Management Comments and Our Response

The Chief of Staff, U.S. Transportation Command, responding for the Commander, U.S. Transportation Command; the Chief, Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, responding for the Director, Defense Information Systems Agency; and the Director, DLA Acquisition, responding for the Director, DLA, agreed with the recommendations, and we do not require additional comments.

We are currently performing a summary audit of DoD compliance with past performance reporting requirements. In the summary audit report, we will identify the status of each recommendation from this report and the previous reports in the series.


1 Registering the contract enables the assessor to prepare the PAR in the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System.

This report is a result of Project No. D2016-D000CF-0165.000.