Warfighter Support: Cultural Change Needed to Improve How DOD Plans for and Manages Operational Contract Support
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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For decades, the Department of Defense DoD has relied on contractors to support contingency operations and recognizes them as part of the total force. In Iraq and Afghanistan, contractor personnel now outnumber deployed troops. In Iraq, more than 95,000 DoD contractors support 92,000 troops, and in Afghanistan, more than 112,000 DoD contractors support approximately 94,000 troops. DoD anticipates that the number of contractors will grow in Afghanistan as the department increases its troop presence in that country. Several long-standing challenges have hindered DoDs ability to manage and oversee contractors at deployed locations. Since 1992, GAO has designated DoD contract management as a high-risk area, in part because of concerns about the adequacy of the departments acquisition workforce, including contract oversight personnel. GAO has reported on many of the challenges that DoD faces and has made several recommendations aimed at improving the oversight and management of contracts in contingency operations. DoD has addressed some, but not all of these recommendations. This testimony addresses the extent to which DoD has institutionalized operational contract support. It is based on GAOs recently published reports and testimonies on planning for operational contract support and on DoDs efforts to manage and oversee contractors and ongoing audit work in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Administration and Management
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Unconventional Warfare