Report | July 25, 2016

Army Officials Did Not Consistently Comply With Requirements for Assessing Contractor Performance DODIG-2016-112

Objective

We determined whether Army officials completed comprehensive and timely contractor performance assessment reports (PARs) for nonsystems contracts as required by Federal and DoD policies. This is the third in a series of audits on DoD compliance with policies for evaluating contractor performance.

Background

The purpose of a PAR is to provide source selection officials with information on contractor past performance. Officials prepare PARs in the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS).  We selected a nonstatistical sample of five contracting offices that prepared 56 PARs with a contract value of $1.5 billion. These 56 PARs were for nonsystems contracts that include contracts for operations support, services, information technology, and ship repair and overhaul.

Finding

National Guard Bureau (NGB); U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering Support Center, Huntsville (CEHNC); Army Contracting Command (ACC)–Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG); ACC–Redstone Arsenal (RSA); and ACC–Warren (WRN) officials did not consistently comply with requirements for evaluating contractor past performance when preparing 56 PARs.

Specifically, officials at all five offices did not prepare 21 of 56 PARs within the 120‑day required timeframe. Officials at all five offices also prepared 52 of 56 PARs that did not include sufficient written narratives to justify the ratings given, ratings for all required evaluation factors, or sufficient descriptions of the contract purpose. 

These conditions occurred because:

  • Army organization-specific procedures did not consistently ensure timeliness or did not address timeliness;
  • assessors did not understand PAR rating or evaluation factor definitions;
  • assessors did not take CPARS Quality and Narrative Writing training; or
  • Army organization-specific procedures did not require reviews of PARs to ensure compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

Additionally, NGB, CEHNC, and ACC-RSA officials did not have a valid reason for not registering1 7 of 156 contracts in CPARS. This occurred because these offices did not have procedures for registering contracts. Also, NGB, CEHNC, and ACC-RSA officials did not complete PARs for 21 contracts for various reasons that are described in detail in this report.

As a result, Federal source selection officials did not have access to timely, accurate, and complete contractor performance assessment information needed to make informed decisions related to contract awards.

Recommendations

We recommend that Army officials develop, implement, or update procedures for:

  • preparing PARs within 120 days;
  • requiring that assessors take training for writing PARs;
  • evaluating PARs for quality; or
  • registering contracts.

We also recommend that Army officials prepare 21 overdue PARs.

Management Comments and Our Response

The Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting, NGB; and Commander, CEHNC, agreed with the recommendations and we do not require additional comments from them. The Deputy to the Commanding General, ACC, agreed with the recommendations, but his comments did not address all specifics of the recommendations. We request that the Deputy provide comments to this report by August 24, 2016.


1 The CPARS project manager stated that registering the contracts enables the assessor to prepare the PAR in CPARS.

This report is a result of Project No. D2016-D000CF-0045.000.