March 25, 2015 —
Our objective was to determine whether the Army information technology (IT) contracts issued without competition were properly justified. We announced this audit in anticipation of the pending Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act that requires the DoD Inspector General to review DoD noncompetitive IT contracts to determine whether they were properly justified as sole source. This report is the second in a series of audits on IT contracts issued without competition. We nonstatistically reviewed 53 contracts.1
Army contracting personnel properly justified 35 of the 39 contracts, valued (including options) at about $146.5 million, as sole-source awards. However, Army contracting personnel did not properly justify four contracts, valued at $83.3 million, as sole-source awards. This occurred because:
- in 2008, an Army contracting officer changed a multiple-award contract to three sole-source contracts when issuing the first task order. In 2013, the contracting officer then awarded three bridge contracts as sole-source, citing only one source; and
- for the remaining contract, an Army contracting officer did not include sufficient information in the justification to support a sole-source award because of the year-end buy.
As a result, Army contracting personnel could have saved DoD funds or received better IT service capabilities using full and open competition.
Additionally, Army contracting personnel did not comply with Federal Acquisition Regulation synopsis requirements for 20 of the 39 contracts. This occurred because Army contracting personnel stated that they:
- thought the correct exception was used;
- completed the synopses but did not save and could not recover them; or
- unintentionally did not fill out all the required information.
For each of the proposed contract actions not properly synopsized, contracting personnel potentially excluded sources.
Finally, Army contracting personnel used a valid statutory requirement when they awarded the other 14 contracts with a value (including options) of about $58.7 million.
We recommend that the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Procurement) require all Advocates for Competition to issue guidance providing special emphasis on and require training for contracting personnel to fully implement Federal Acquisition Regulation Subpart 5.2, “Synopses of Proposed Contract Actions.” Also, we recommend that the Commanding General, Army Intelligence and Security Command, require refresher training for all contracting personnel on use of multiple-award contracts and for fully supporting justifications in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation Subpart 6.3, “Other Than Full and Open Competition.”
Management Comments and Our Response
The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Procurement) and the Chief of Staff, Army Intelligence and Security Command, responding for the Commanding General, Army Intelligence and Security Command, agreed with the recommendations and provided a corrective action plan with an anticipated completion date. Comments from the Deputy Assistant Secretary and the Chief of Staff addressed all specifics of the recommendations, and no further comments are required.
1 For 14 contracts, we limited our review to verifying
whether the contracts contained a valid statutory
requirement. The remaining 39 contracts required written justifications for other than full and open competition.
This report is a result of Project No. D2014-D000CG-0214.000.