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DODIG-2018-116 The Trans-Africa Airlift Support Contract

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Objective:

We determined whether U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) conducted a Service Requirements Review Board (SRRB) to develop, analyze, review, and validate the Trans-Africa Airlift Support Contract (TASC) requirements.

Background:

USAFRICOM and its subordinate command, U.S. Special Operations Command–Africa (SOCAFRICA), require air transportation services to conduct airlift, cargo drops, and emergency evacuation services in the USAFRICOM area of responsibility (AOR). USAFRICOM and SOCAFRICA have a small footprint in Africa, resulting in low-volume and low-frequency movements.

On October 26, 2015, SOCAFRICA requested U.S. Transportation Command’s (USTRANSCOM) support to develop and execute an indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) acquisition package to consolidate SOCAFRICA’s airlift requirements into a single contract. On January 5, 2016, SOCAFRICA submitted a requirements package to USTRANSCOM for its IDIQ contract services.

USTRANSCOM later proposed to develop requirements for the IDIQ contract that would meet both SOCAFRICA’s and USAFRICOM’s airlift requirements to improve efficiencies and reduce costs.

On February 2, 2017, USTRANSCOM awarded the TASC, a firm-fixed-price, IDIQ contract, to AAR Airlift, Berry Aviation, Inc., and Erickson Helicopters to provide airlift services as required by USAFRICOM to support various efforts within the USAFRICOM AOR. The contract requires the contractors to be prepared to perform flight support for training and tactical operations, among other requirements. The contract has a period of performance of 12 months, with four option years and a maximum contract value of $900 million.

Finding:

We determined that USAFRICOM, the requiring activity, did not conduct an SRRB to develop, analyze, review, and validate the TASC requirements as required by DoD Instruction 5000.74 prior to USTRANSCOM awarding the $900 million contract. In addition, USTRANSCOM, the decision authority, did not ensure that USAFRICOM completed an SRRB as required by DoD Instruction 5000.74.

This occurred because USAFRICOM personnel did not take responsibility as the requiring activity for the TASC. In addition, USTRANSCOM officials assumed that, as long as it received funding and a PWS, the requiring activity had validated the requirements.

As a result, the requirements developed for the TASC may not be accurate. Specifically, the PWS for the TASC included requirements for intelligence that were not clear and some medical services that may unnecessarily increase costs. In addition, requirements outlined in the PWS allow the contractor to refuse any mission for safety reasons, which could delay the recovery and return of U.S. Military, DoD civilians, and DoD contractor personnel who are isolated or missing in an uncertain or hostile environment. However, there is no evidence that USAFRICOM conducted an SRRB to document its decision on whether to use contractor or military support for airlift services.

Recommendations:

We recommend that the Commander, U.S. Africa Command:

  • develop and implement a training program for personnel supporting the acquisition of services to ensure that requirements are reviewed, validated, and approved prior to awarding contracts; and
  • conduct a Services Requirement Review Board for the Trans-Africa Airlift Support Contract and coordinate with U.S. Transportation Command to modify the contract accordingly, or conduct an SRRB for each task order awarded under the Trans-Africa Airlift Support Contract.

We also recommend that the Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, develop formal policies and procedures for planning and executing service acquisitions for external requiring activities.

Management Comments and Our Response:

The Chief of Staff, USTRANSCOM, responding for the Commander, USTRANSCOM, agreed with our recommendations and stated that the USTRANSCOM Acquisition Directorate’s Policy Division is developing formal procedures for planning and executing service acquisitions with an estimated completion date of October 1, 2018.

Management Comments Required:

The U.S. Africa Command did not respond to our request for comments on the draft of the report, including the recommendations addressed to U.S. Africa Command. Therefore, the recommendations are unresolved. We request that U.S. Africa Command provide comments on the final report, including whether it agrees with the recommendations.