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Military Construction in a Contingency Environment: Summary of Weaknesses Identified in Reports Issued From January 1, 2008, Through March 31, 2014

DODIG-2015-059

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What We Did

We summarized reports issued by the DoD Office of Inspector General and Air Force Audit Agency between January 1, 2008, and March 31, 2014, that contained findings on military construction projects in Afghanistan and Iraq. This summary report provides DoD decision makers and military construction managers with information on recurring weaknesses in military construction in a contingency environment.

What We Found

The DoD Office of Inspector General and Air Force Audit Agency issued 11 reports that identified weaknesses with contingency construction contracts in Afghanistan and Iraq valued at about $738 million. The weaknesses include inadequate quality assurance and contract oversight, inadequate requirements, acceptance of substandard construction, unclear guidance, lack of coordination between commands, lack of contract files, and funding approval process. Overall, quality assurance weaknesses were cited 15 times in 7 reports and contributed to an increased risk to personnel life and safety on the facilities. The quality assurance weaknesses included insufficient contract oversight and lack of quality assurance documents and procedures. The other weaknesses contributed to additional work to bring newly constructed facilities up to standard.

The recurring weaknesses indicate that there is an opportunity to apply lessons learned from military construction projects and minimize their recurrence in future contingency environments.

What Was Recommended

The reports had 77 recommendations, many of them to correct deficiencies and strengthen controls over future military construction within a contingency environment. Overall, the recommendations describe efforts to improve contingency construction, from developing the construction requirements to overseeing the contracts. As of November 20, 2014, DoD officials, resolved 70 of the recommendations, and 7 remained open.

Of the 77 recommendations, 42 addressed quality assurance weaknesses. Some of the recommendations made to address the quality assurance weaknesses were to:

  •  develop a quality assurance plan at project inception and update the plan as needed,  
  •  provide continuous oversight and perform acceptance testing, and
  •  assess life and safety hazards identified at military construction projects and determine appropriate actions to correct deficiencies.

In this summary report, we identified recommendations from previous reports. Therefore, this report does not contain recommendations.  

This report is a result of Project No. D2014-D000RE-0141.000.