Providing Technical Expertise for Effective Contract Management
TEXAS UNIV AT AUSTIN DEPT OF MANAGEMENT
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This paper examines how to effectively resource and then employ Contracting Officer Representatives CORs in contingency operations. I will recommend related policy and organizational changes to that end. During two deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, the identification, resourcing, training, and employment of CORs was a significant issue to both the Contracting Officers and the supported units. Most units had numerous demands for their Soldiers time and efforts, and the responsibilities of the COR was one of a myriad of different additional duties units were responsible for. Due to these competing duties, COR functions often were neglected or completed in a rudimentary manner. This shortfall affected the overall mission by allowing subperforming contractors to provide substandard work, or, in some instances, not complete the requirements at all. In Iraq, this lack of diligence led to the electrocutions of Soldiers caused by faulty wiring. The failure of these contracts had an impact on the overall counterinsurgency mission. Another problem is the lack of the requisite skills required to inspect and detect or certify contracted projects or services. This lack of expertise has been noted by the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction SIGAR and the congressionally appointed Commission on Wartime Contracting COWC.
- Administration and Management
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Unconventional Warfare