Defense Acquisitions. Improved Management and Oversight Needed to Better Control DOD's Acquisition of Services
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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Numerous persistent problems have resulted in reduced effectiveness and have exposed DOD to unnecessary risks when acquiring services. The growth in obligations on service contracts from 85.1 billion in fiscal year 1996 to more than 151 billion in fiscal year 2006 reflects a growing reliance on contractors to provide a range of mission-critical services. At the same time, DOD s civilian workforce was downsized without sufficient attention to requisite skills and competencies. Within this environment, our work, as well as that of some agency Inspectors General, have identified numerous instances of weak business practices poorly defined requirements, inadequate competition, insufficient guidance and leadership, inadequate monitoring of contractor performance, and inappropriate uses of other agencies contracts and contracting services. Collectively, these problems expose DOD to unnecessary risk, complicate efforts to hold DOD and contractors accountable for poor acquisition outcomes, and increase the potential for fraud, waste, or abuse of taxpayer dollars. DOD s structure and processes for managing services do not position the department to make service acquisitions a managed outcome. DOD has taken some actions to improve its management of services, including developing a competency model for its contracting workforce issuing policies and guidance to improve DOD s management of contractors supporting deployed forces and its use of interagency contracts and developing an integrated assessment of how best to acquire services. DOD leadership will be critical for translating this assessment and other actions into effective frontline practices. At this point, however, DOD does not know how well its services acquisition processes are working and whether it is obtaining the services it needs while protecting DOD s and the taxpayer s interests.
- Administration and Management
- Defense Systems
- Computer Systems