Report | Dec. 21, 2012

Better Processes Needed to Appropriately Justify and Document NAVSUP WSS, Philadelphia Site Sole-Source Awards


What We Did

Our objective was to determine whether DoD noncompetitive contract awards were properly justified as sole source. This report is the seventh in a series of reports on DoD contracts awarded without competition and includes contracts issued by the Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS), Philadelphia Site. We reviewed 32 contracts with an obligated value of about $68.5 million that NAVSUP WSS, Philadelphia Site contracting personnel awarded in FY 2009 and FY 2010.

What We Found

NAVSUP WSS, Philadelphia Site contracting personnel obtained approval from the appropriate personnel in the time frames required for 31 of 32 Justification and Approvals (J&As) for other than full and open competition. However, personnel did not:

  • properly justify the award of 13 sole-source contracts because personnel did not explain why there was only one capable source;
  • address all content requirements within 31 of the 32 J&As because personnel relied on a standardized J&A template and omitted required information;
  • obtain legal reviews before approval of 23 of the 32 J&As because internal guidance improperly limited when they were required;
  • adequately document the market research conducted or the results for 29 of 32 contracts because technical personnel did not document the steps taken when reviewing internal and external databases and contracting personnel relied on the sole-source determinations provided; nor
  • follow some synopsis requirements for the 27 proposed contracts that required a synopsis because contracting personnel were unaware of a few of the requirements.

As a result, improper sole-source awards could occur. Personnel could not make informed decisions that the proposed contractors were the sole source. Also, interested sources were not aware of future contracting opportunities.

Corrective Actions

The NAVSUP WSS, Director of Contracts, issued a policy memorandum requiring all J&As to be reviewed by the Office of Counsel for legal sufficiency before final approval of the J&A. Also, NAVSUP WSS, Philadelphia Site contracting personnel issued an e-mail to personnel providing details on required synopsis content. Further, personnel created and provided training that addressed how to properly synopsize proposed actions.

What We Recommend

We redirected the recommendations to the Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command to update J&A training and templates and require personnel to fully address J&A content requirements to adequately justify noncompetitive contracts, and require personnel to include adequate documentation of market research in the contract files to support that only one source can meet Government requirements for a given procurement.

Management Comments and Our Response

The Navy agreed with all recommendations. We consider the Navy's comments to be responsive. No further comments are required.