An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Report | Jan. 15, 2013

Quality Controls for the Rotary Wing Transport Contracts Performed in Afghanistan Need Improvement


What We Did

We determined whether United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) contracting officials had adequate controls over the contracts for transportation of supplies, mail, and passengers in Afghanistan. This is the first in a series of audits for these contracts. Since FY 2009, USTRANSCOM contracting officials awarded 10 indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts in support of the Afghanistan Rotary Wing Program. As of September 2012, the contracting officer issued 28 task orders with an approximate obligated value of $1.5 billion, and a total approximate value of $3.5 billion, if all options are exercised.

What We Found

USTRANSCOM did not establish adequate surveillance controls for the 28 task orders supporting the transportation of supplies, mail, and passengers in Afghanistan. Specifically, the USTRANSCOM contracting officer did not perform periodic reviews of the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) files or request the COR files be sent to her when the CORs completed their tours of duty. The contracting officer stated that she did not perform the reviews or request the COR files because the COR file documentation was located in an austere location, and she wanted to leave the documentation on site to maintain continuity among the COR rotations. The COR files are located in Afghanistan. Additionally, the contracting officer did not establish effective surveillance elements and methodologies necessary for CORs to determine that services met contract requirements when she developed quality assurance surveillance plans (QASPs) for each of the 10 contracts. The contracting officer stated that this occurred because she unintentionally omitted the required surveillance elements from the QASPs. As a result, the contracting officer did not perform oversight to verify whether the CORs performed effective contract surveillance, and did not have QASP requirements established for CORs to verify that contractors complied with contractual requirements for transport services worth approximately $1.5 billion as of September 2012. The inadequate controls increased the risk that the Government would pay for services not rendered.

What We Recommend

We recommend that the contracting officer require CORs to provide their surveillance files to the contracting officer when completing their tours of duty; assess the adequacy of surveillance measures used by the CORs in Afghanistan; create and implement standard operating procedures to establish the methodology for monitoring and validating fuel purchases; update and revise the QASPs to include all contract terms requiring surveillance and the method of surveillance; and perform a resource analysis to determine the number of CORs needed in Afghanistan.

Management Comments and Our Response

The USTRANSCOM Deputy Commander agreed with our recommendations; however some were partially responsive. Specifically, the Deputy Commander should provide her plans of actions and milestone dates of completion to improve surveillance and oversight of contracted goods and services. We request that the Deputy Commander provide additional comments in response to this report by February 15, 2013.

This report is a result of Project No. D2012-D000AS-0031.000.