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Report | April 26, 2013

Improvements Needed in U.S. Special Operations Command Global Battlestaff and Program Support Contract Oversight


What We Did

This report focuses on the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Global Battlestaff and Program Support (GBPS) contract. For this audit, we determined whether USSOCOM properly administered task orders awarded under the GBPS contract, valued at approximately $231 million, as of November 16, 2011.

What We Found

USSOCOM contracting officers did not properly administer GBPS task orders in accordance with Federal guidance. For the 28 task orders reviewed, contracting officers awarded 26 task orders with unclear requirements, 24 task orders that did not always have measureable outcomes, 9 task orders that may have included inherently governmental duties, and 24 task orders with elements of a personal services contract. This occurred because contracting officers did not ensure task order terms complied with Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements to include clear, specific, and objective terms with measurable outcomes or review task orders for inherently governmental functions and elements of a personal services contract. USSOCOM personnel preferred unclear task order requirements to maintain flexibility and to support emerging tasks.

In addition, contracting officers did not adequately support determinations of fair and reasonable pricing for 20 modifications, totaling approximately $38.8 million, as required by Federal guidance. Contracting officers stated that time constraints prevented them from documenting their reviews of fair and reasonableness price analyses. Further, contracting officers did not validate that contractors were entitled to approximately $50.9 million paid on task orders. Specifically, contracting officers did not verify that contractor services were performed or that services received from the contractor met contract requirements before certifying invoices for payment. This occurred because contracting officers approved “scheduled interval” payments on an exception basis without validating services were received and conformed to contract requirements.

Although recommended in two prior DoD Office of Inspector General audit reports, USSOCOM corrective actions taken to address previous recommendations did not adequately improve controls over its contracting processes.

The lack of appropriate contract award and administration put USSOCOM at risk of not getting the best value for GBPS services and improperly executing future task order options, valued at $206 million.

What We Recommend

Among other recommendations, we recommend the Director, Special Operations Research, Development, and Acquisition Center, implement controls to ensure task orders contain clearly defined performance work statements; comply with Federal and DoD regulations controls to verify contracting personnel perform price analysis for modifications over $700,000; and develop procedures for the contracting officer or contracting officer representatives to validate contractor payment requests before certifying invoices for payment.

Management Comments and Our Response

Comments from the Director, Special Operations Research, Development, and Acquisition Center were generally responsive. However, we request that the Director provide comments to Recommendations B.3, B.4, and C.1 by May 24, 2013.

This report is a result of Project No. D2012-D000JB-0043.000.