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Special Report on Best Practices and Lessons Learned for DoD Contracting Officials in the Pandemic Environment (DODIG-2020-085)

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Publicly Released: June 4, 2020

From 2006 through 2020, the DoD OIG and the Service Audit Agencies conducted 52 audits related to disaster relief response.  Of the 52 reports, 36 reports focused on oversight of contracting related to disaster response activities. We analyzed the 36 audit reports and identified several best practices and lessons learned related to contracting from the DoD’s previous disaster relief responses.

Our review of the 36 audit reports identified trends and recurring issues related to contracting during past emergencies such as hurricanes, wildfires, and the Ebola pandemic.

DoD officials are under increased pressure to provide goods and services in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment under the COVID 19 pandemic, which are similar to the pressures that were present during past disaster response and relief efforts. We developed a list of best practices and lessons learned that DoD officials should consider following to minimize opportunities for fraud, waste, and abuse in awarding and overseeing the large amount of contracts needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, we identified lessons learned related to communication and coordination, documentation, consistency in contracting processes, and staffing and training. This special report contains a brief discussion of each of these areas.