Publicly Released: September 24, 2021
The objective of this followup audit was to determine whether the Army implemented the recommendations identified in Report No. DODIG-2018-040, “Army Oversight of Logistics Civil Augmentation Program Government-Furnished Property in Afghanistan,” December 11, 2017, to improve the accountability of Government‑furnished property (GFP).
The Army uses Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contracts to provide sustainment support to U.S. operations around the world, including Afghanistan. The two LOGCAP contractors in Afghanistan provide services such as laundry, dining, housing, construction, and facilities maintenance.
GFP is property owned by the Government and furnished to the contractor for performance of a contract. The Army is required to establish an official record and maintain processes to account for GFP issued to contractors. Furthermore, Army contracting officers must ensure that contract modifications fully account for all GFP additions, subtractions, and transfers.
The 401st Army Field Support Battalion (AFSBn)–Afghanistan, under the Army Sustainment Command, maintains the Army’s GFP accountable records and issues the standard operating procedures for overseeing GFP in Afghanistan. The property book officer for GFP is part of the 401st AFSBn and is responsible for maintaining a property record to provide visibility and accountability of GFP. Property administrators, under Army Contracting Command–Afghanistan, oversee and maintain property accountability of GFP. Property administrators facilitate GFP updates with LOGCAP contractors and contracting actions, such as modifications to update GFP on the contract.
The 401st AFSBn and Army Contracting Command–Afghanistan did not fully implement two of four recommendations from Report No. DODIG-2018-040 to improve the accountability of GFP. Although Army Contracting Command–Afghanistan did improve training on GFP guidance and accountability requirements and modified task orders to capture GFP changes on contract modifications, the Army’s accountable records were still inaccurate. Specifically, we found that the 401st AFSBn did not maintain the accountable records to reflect accurate visibility of GFP possessed by the contractor. In addition, the 401st AFSBn and Army Contracting Command–Afghanistan did not independently initiate any GFP reconciliations between the Army’s accountable records and contractors’ GFP listings in accordance with standard operating procedures.
The property book officer did not update the Army’s accountable records because large amounts of GFP additions and subtractions caused backlogs of GFP updates. Additionally, the property book officer did not conduct reconciliations because the 401st AFSBn did not circulate the updated standard operating procedures that included the reconciliation requirement.
As a result of not fully implementing corrective actions to maintain accurate GFP accountability, as of March 2021, the Army and contractors’ accountable records differed by 16,504 items, valued at $53.6 million. In April 2021, the U.S. Government announced a complete withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, which will require thousands of pieces of equipment to be destroyed, transferred to the Afghans, or retrograded. Commanders need to know the quantity, type, and location of Government property to make informed transportation, destruction, or disposal decisions related to the drawdown. Poor accountability and visibility of GFP items will complicate these decisions during the drawdown. Additionally, there is a risk of loss or theft if the Army does not have proper accountability of GFP during the drawdown.
Because of the withdrawal, we recognize that the organizations in Afghanistan responsible for taking action on GFP accountability recommendations must now focus on the final disposition of all property in Afghanistan. Specifically, according to a senior LOGCAP official in Afghanistan, the 401st AFSBn personnel withdrew from Afghanistan in mid-June 2021. LOGCAP contractors remained in Afghanistan to assist with the efforts to transfer, destroy, or retrograde equipment through June 2021, and Army Contracting Command–Rock Island will track the contractors’ records for equipment closeout purposes.
Recommending improvements based on the issues identified during our audit would not be feasible. However, it is important that the Army improve GFP accountability for LOGCAP used in other countries and in future contingency operations.
As a result, we recommend that the Commanding Generals of the Army Contracting Command and Army Sustainment Command each review the issues discussed in this report and publish lessons learned related to GFP accountability for LOGCAP contracts.
Management Comments and Our Response
The Commanding Generals of the Army Contracting Command and Army Sustainment Command both agreed with the recommendation to review issues discussed in this report and publish lessons learned related to GFP accountability for LOGCAP contracts. Specifically, the Commanding General of the Army Contracting Command stated that the Army Contracting Command will add a reconciliation requirement to acquisition policy, and provide training on the use and implementation of item‑unique identification and reconciliations to the Property Administration and Contracting community.
Additionally, the Commanding General of the Army Sustainment Command stated that the Commander of the 401st Army Field Support Brigade will:
- update standard operating procedures to include the corrective actions taken to resolve the backlog of GFP transactions;
- train personnel on GFP reconciliation and accountability procedures; and
- include an item-unique identification requirement in future LOGCAP performance work statements.
The Commanding General of the Army Sustainment Command also stated the lessons learned will be incorporated into future LOGCAP contracts by July 2022.
This report is the result of Proj. No. D2021-D000RJ-0056.000.