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Report to the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, 
Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate:

United States General Accounting Office:

GAO:

June 2003:

Military Operations:

Contractors Provide Vital Services to Deployed Forces but Are Not 
Adequately Addressed in DOD Plans:

GAO-03-695:

GAO Highlights:

Highlights of GAO-03-695, a report to the Subcommittee on Readiness 
and Management Support, Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate

Why GAO Did This Study:

The Department of Defense (DOD) uses contractors to provide a wide 
variety of services for U.S. military forces deployed overseas. We 
were asked to examine three related issues: (1) the extent of 
contractor support for deployed forces and why DOD uses contractors; 
(2) the extent to which such contractors are considered in DOD 
planning, including whether DOD has backup plans to maintain essential 
services to deployed forces in case contractors can no longer provide 
the services; and (3) the adequacy of DODís guidance and oversight 
mechanisms in managing overseas contractors efficiently. 

What GAO Found:

While DOD and the military services cannot quantify the totality of 
support that contractors provide to deployed forces around the world, 
DOD relies on contractors to supply a wide variety of services. These 
services range from maintaining advanced weapon systems and setting up 
and operating communications networks to providing gate and perimeter 
security, interpreting foreign languages, and preparing meals and 
doing laundry for the troops. DOD uses contractor services for a 
number of reasons. In some areas, such as Bosnia and Kosovo, there are 
limits on the number of U.S. military personnel who can be deployed in 
the region; contract workers pick up the slack in the tasks that 
remain to be done. Elsewhere, the military does not have sufficient 
personnel with the highly technical or specialized skills needed in-
place (e.g., technicians to repair sophisticated equipment or 
weapons). Finally, DOD uses contractors to conserve scarce skills, to 
ensure that they will be available for future deployments. 

Despite requirements established in DOD guidance (Instruction 3020.37),
 DOD and the services have not identified those contractors that 
provide mission essential services and where appropriate developed 
backup plans to ensure that essential contractor-provided services 
will continue if the contractor for any reason becomes unavailable. 
Service officials told us that, in the past, contractors have usually 
been able to fulfill their contractual obligations and, if they were 
unable to do so, officials could replace them with other contractor 
staff or military personnel. However, we found that this may not 
always be the case.

DODís agencywide and servicewide guidance and policies for using and 
overseeing contractors that support deployed U.S. forces overseas are 
inconsistent and sometimes incomplete, as in the following examples:

* Of the four services, only the Army has developed substantial 
guidance for dealing with contractors.

* DODís acquisition regulations do not require any specific contract 
clauses or language to cover possible overseas deployments or changes 
in deployment locations for contract workers. Of 183 contractor 
employees planning to deploy with an Army division to Iraq, for 
example, some did not have deployment clauses in their contracts. This 
omission can lead to increased contract costs as well as delays in 
getting contractors into the field. 

* At the sites that we visited in Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Persian 
Gulf, we found that general oversight of contractors appeared to be 
sufficient but that broader oversight issues existed. These include 
inadequate training for staff responsible for overseeing contractors 
and limited awareness by many field commanders of all the contractor 
activities taking place in their area of operations. 

What GAO Recommends:

We are making a number of recommendations to the Secretary of Defense 
to improve the oversight and management of contractorsí supporting 
deployed forces. These include (1) conducting required reviews to 
identify mission essential services provided by contractors and 
include them in planning; (2) developing and implementing the use of 
standard language for contracts; and (3) developing comprehensive 
guidance and doctrine to help the services manage contractorsí 
supporting deployed forces. DOD agreed with most of our 
recommendations but believed a section of one was too burdensome. We 
do not agree and have retained the recommendation its entirety. 

[End of section]

Contents:

Letter:

Results in Brief:

Background:

DOD Uses Contractors for a Wide Range of Services Because of Force Size 
Limitations and a Lack of Military Capability and Capacity:

DOD and the Services Have Not Identified Essential Services Provided by 
Contracts or Developed Plans for Their Continuation Should Contractors 
Not Be Available:

Guidance and Contract Language and Oversight Vary within DOD and the 
Services:

Conclusions:

Recommendations for Executive Action:

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation:

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology:

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense:

Table:

Table 1: Selected Services Provided by Contractors in Deployed 
Locations:

Figures:

Figure 1: Selected Countries Where Contractors Are Supporting Deployed 
Forces, As of April 2003:

Figure 2: DOD Instruction 3020.37 Essential Services Planning 
Procedures:

Figure 3: Contracts for Selected Services in Bosnia Are Awarded by Many 
Different Agencies:

United States General Accounting Office:

Washington, DC 20548:

June 24, 2003:

The Honorable John Ensign 
Chairman 

The Honorable Daniel K. Akaka 
Ranking Minority Member 

Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support 
Committee on Armed Services 
United States Senate:

The U.S. military has long used contractors to provide supplies and 
services to deployed U.S. forces, and more recently contractors have 
been involved in every major military operation since the 1991 Gulf 
War, including the recent war in Iraq. Although the Department of 
Defense (DOD) considers contractors to be part of the total force, 
neither DOD nor the services know the totality of contractor support 
being provided to deployed forces.[Footnote 1] However, military 
officials believe that the use of contractors for support to these 
forces has increased significantly since the 1991 Gulf War. Factors 
that have contributed to this increase include reductions in the size 
of the military, an increase in the numbers of operations and missions 
undertaken, and increasingly sophisticated weapons systems. You asked 
us to assess (1) the extent of contractor support to deployed U.S. 
forces and why DOD uses contractors; (2) the extent to which such 
contractors are considered in DOD planning, including whether DOD has 
backup plans to maintain essential services to deployed forces in case 
contractors can no longer provide them; and (3) the adequacy of 
guidance and oversight mechanisms in place to manage contractors 
effectively.

As agreed with your staff, we focused our efforts in the Balkans and 
Southwest Asia because the contractors in those theaters provide a 
broad range of contractor support activities. We examined a wide range 
of contracts in order to assess the diversity of contractor support and 
met with officials at all levels of command to gain a comprehensive 
understanding of the contracting and contract management and oversight 
processes. We did not, however, compare the cost of contractors versus 
the cost of military personnel or make policy judgments on whether the 
use of contractors is desirable. We conducted our review from August 
2002 through April 2003 in accordance with generally accepted 
government auditing standards. We discuss our scope and methodology in 
more detail in appendix I.

Results in Brief:

DOD uses contractors to provide U.S. forces that are deployed overseas 
with a wide variety of services because of force limitations and a lack 
of needed skills. The types of services contractors provide to deployed 
forces include communication services, interpreters, base operations 
services, weapons systems maintenance, gate and perimeter security, 
intelligence analysis, and oversight over other contractors. The 
military uses contractors to support deployed forces for several 
reasons. One reason is that in some deployed areas, such as Bosnia and 
Kosovo, the Executive Branch has limited the number of U.S. military 
personnel who can be deployed in those countries at any one time. When 
these limits, known as force caps, are in place, contractors replace 
soldiers so that the soldiers will be available to undertake activities 
with the potential for combat. A second reason that DOD uses 
contractors is because either the required skills are not available in 
the military or are only available in limited numbers and need to be 
available to deploy for other contingencies. For example, when the Air 
Force deployed the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle, it required 
contractor support because the vehicle is still in development and the 
Air Force has not trained service members to maintain the entire 
vehicle. Finally, DOD uses contractors to conserve scarce skills to 
ensure that they will be available for future deployments.

DOD has not fully included contractor support in its operational and 
strategic plans. As early as 1988, DOD was aware of the need to 
identify contractors providing essential services but has done little 
to do so in the ensuing 15 years. In 1991, DOD instructed its 
components to identify essential services provided by contractors and 
develop plans to ensure the continuation of those services should 
contractors become unavailable. However, we found that DOD components 
have not conducted the directed reviews to identify those contracts 
providing essential services. We also found little in the way of backup 
plans in operational plans or as separate documents, finding only one 
written backup plan among the locations we visited, which included the 
Balkans and several Persian Gulf countries. Many service officials told 
us that contractors have supported contingencies in the past and, in 
their opinion, it was unlikely that contractors would not be available 
to provide support to deployed forces. While most contractors with whom 
we met in the Persian Gulf stated their intention to remain in the 
event of war with Iraq, contractor employees, could become unavailable 
due to enemy attack or accidents. Some commanders noted that although 
they have not formalized backup plans, they assumed that should 
contractor support become unavailable, the personnel needed to continue 
the service would be provided either by other contractors or from 
military units. However, without firm plans, there is no assurance that 
the personnel needed to provide the essential services would be 
available when needed. Finally, DOD has done little to include 
contractor support in its strategic human capital planning.

While individual contract oversight in deployed locations appeared to 
be sufficient, we identified a number of broader issues associated with 
managing contractor support. At the sites we visited, contract 
oversight personnel for individual contracts were in place, and 
military members we spoke to were generally satisfied with contractor 
performance and service. However, broader oversight is lacking in key 
areas, making it difficult for commanders to manage contractors 
effectively. For example, visibility of all contractor support at a 
specific location is practically nonexistent at the combatant commands, 
component commands, and deployed locations we visited except in Bosnia, 
where a concerted effort has been undertaken to identify all contractor 
support. As a result, commanders at deployed locations have limited 
visibility and understanding of all contractor activity supporting 
their operations and frequently have no easy way to get answers to 
questions about contractor support. This lack of visibility inhibits 
the ability of commanders to resolve issues associated with contractor 
support such as force protection issues and the provision of support to 
the contractor personnel. Guidance at the DOD, combatant-command, and 
service levels regarding the use of contractors to support deployed 
forces varies widely, and mechanisms for managing these contractors are 
inconsistent, creating challenges that may hinder the efficient use of 
contractors. Only the Army has developed substantial guidance and 
policies to deal with contractor support to deployed forces. In 
addition, there is no standardization of necessary contract language 
for deployment of contractors. This situation can increase costs to the 
government as well as impede the local commander's ability to provide 
force protection and support to contractor personnel.

We are making a number of recommendations to improve guidance, 
training, and contractor visibility at all levels of command.

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD agreed with three of 
our recommendations and partially agreed with three others. We modified 
two of our recommendations to address DOD's concerns. However, DOD 
expressed concern that our recommendation to provide commanders more 
information about the contracts used to support deployed forces could 
be overly burdensome. We continue to believe all the recommendations 
have merit and will not impose an undue burden. A detailed discussion 
of DOD's comments and our response is contained in the body of this 
report.

Background:

Since the early 1990s, DOD has used contractors to meet many of its 
logistical and operational support needs during combat operations, 
peacekeeping missions, and humanitarian assistance missions, ranging 
from Somalia and Haiti to Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Today, 
contractors are used to support deployed forces at a number of 
locations around the world as figure 1 shows.

Figure 1: Selected Countries Where Contractors Are Supporting Deployed 
Forces, As of April 2003:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

A wide array of DOD and non-DOD agencies can award contracts to support 
deployed forces. Such contracts have been awarded by the individual 
services, DOD agencies, and other federal agencies. These contracts 
typically fall into three broad categories--theater support, external 
support, and systems support. Theater support contracts are normally 
awarded by contracting agencies associated with the regional combatant 
command, for example, U.S. Central Command or service component 
commands like U.S. Army-Europe or by contracting offices at deployed 
locations such as Bosnia and Kosovo. Contracts can be for recurring 
services--such as equipment rental or repair, minor construction, 
security, and intelligence services--or for the one time delivery of 
goods and services at the deployed location. External theater contracts 
are awarded by commands external to the combatant command or component 
commands, such as the Defense Logistics Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers, and the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency. Under 
external support contracts, contractors are generally expected to 
provide services at the deployed location. The Army's Logistics Civil 
Augmentation Program contract[Footnote 2] is an example of an external 
theater contact. Finally, system contracts provide logistics support to 
maintain and operate weapons and other systems. Systems may be new or 
long-standing ones, and often the contracts are intended to support 
units at their home stations. These types of contracts are most often 
awarded by the commands responsible for building and buying the weapons 
or other systems. Within a service or agency, numerous contracting 
officers, with varying degrees of knowledge about the needs of 
contractors and the military in deployed locations, can award contracts 
that support deployed forces.

Depending on the type of service being provided under a contract, 
contractor employees may be U.S. citizens, host country 
nationals,[Footnote 3] or third country nationals.[Footnote 4] 
Contracts to support weapons systems, for example, usually require U.S. 
citizens, while contractors that provide food and housing services 
frequently hire local nationals or third country nationals.

DOD Uses Contractors for a Wide Range of Services Because of Force Size 
Limitations and a Lack of Military Capability and Capacity:

Contractors provide the military with a wide variety of services from 
food, laundry, and recreation services to maintenance of the military's 
most sophisticated weapons systems. DOD uses contractors during 
deployments because limits are placed on the number of U.S. military 
personnel assigned to a region, required skills may not be available in 
the service, or the services want to husband scarce skills to ensure 
that they are available for other contingencies.

Contractors Provide a Full Spectrum of Services to DOD's Deployed 
Forces:

Contractors provide a wide range of services at deployed locations. The 
scope of contractor support often depends on the nature of the 
deployment. For example, in a relatively stable environment such as the 
Balkans, contractors provide base operations support services such as 
food, laundry, recreational, construction and maintenance, road 
maintenance, waste management, fire-fighting, power generation, and 
water production and distribution services. Contractors also provide 
logistics support such as parts and equipment distribution, ammunition 
accountability and control, and port support activities as well as 
support to weapons systems and tactical vehicles. In a less secure 
environment, as was the case shortly after U.S. forces deployed to 
Afghanistan, contractors principally provided support to weapons 
systems such as the Apache helicopter and chemical and biological 
detection equipment. Table 1 illustrates some types of contractor 
support provided at selected deployed locations. We were completing our 
work as the 2003 war with Iraq began and so were unable to fully 
ascertain the extent of contractor support to U.S. forces inside Iraq.

Table 1: Selected Services Provided by Contractors in Deployed 
Locations:

Service: Weapons systems support; Balkans: Yes; Southwest Asia: Yes; 
Central Asia: Yes.

Service: Intelligence analysis; Balkans: Yes; Southwest Asia: Yes; 
Central Asia: Yes.

Service: Linguists; Balkans: Yes; Southwest Asia: Yes; Central Asia: 
Yes.

Service: Base operations support; Balkans: Yes; Southwest Asia: Yes; 
Central Asia: Yes.

Service: Logistics support; Balkans: Yes; Southwest Asia: Yes; Central 
Asia: No.

Service: Prepositioned equipment maintenance; Balkans: No; 
Southwest Asia: Yes; Central Asia: No.

Service: Non-tactical communications; Balkans: Yes; Southwest Asia: 
Yes; Central Asia: No.

Service: Generator maintenance; Balkans: Yes; Southwest Asia: Yes; 
Central Asia: Yes.

Service: Biological/chemical detection systems; Balkans: No; 
Southwest Asia: Yes; Central Asia: Yes.

Service: Management and control of government property; Balkans: Yes; 
Southwest Asia: Yes; Central Asia: Yes.

Service: Command, control, communications, computers, and 
intelligence; Balkans: Yes; Southwest Asia: Yes; Central Asia: Yes.

Service: Continuing education; Balkans: Yes; Southwest Asia: No; 
Central Asia: No.

Service: Fuel and material transport; Balkans: Yes; Southwest Asia: 
Yes; Central Asia: Yes.

Service: Security guards; Balkans: Yes; Southwest Asia: Yes; Central 
Asia: No.

Service: Tactical and non-tactical vehicle maintenance; Balkans: Yes; 
Southwest Asia: Yes; Central Asia: No.

Service: Medical service; Balkans: No; Southwest Asia: Yes; Central 
Asia: No.

Service: Mail service; Balkans: Yes; Southwest Asia: No; Central 
Asia: No.

Source: GAO:

[End of table]

DOD Uses Contractors Because of Limits on Force Size and a Lack of 
Military Capability and Capacity:

Limits on the number of military personnel allowed in an area, called 
"force caps", lead DOD to use contractors to provide support to its 
deployed forces. In some countries or regions the size of the force is 
limited due to law, executive direction, or agreements with host 
countries or other allies. For example, DOD has limited U.S. troops to 
15 percent of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization force in Kosovo 
while the Philippine government limited the number of U.S. troops 
participating in a recent deployment to 660. Since contractors are not 
included in most force caps, as force levels have been reduced in the 
Balkans, the Army has substituted contractors for soldiers to meet 
requirements that were originally met by soldiers. In Bosnia, for 
example, the Army replaced soldiers at the gate and base perimeter with 
contracted security guards. In Kosovo, the Army replaced its 
firefighters with contracted firefighters as the number of troops 
authorized to be in Kosovo decreased.[Footnote 5] By using contractors 
the military maximizes its combat forces in an area.

In some cases, DOD lacks the internal resources to meet all the 
requirements necessary to support deployed forces. The military 
services do not always have the people with specific skill sets to meet 
the mission. Army National Guard members deployed to Bosnia told us 
that they used contractors to maintain their Apache and Blackhawk 
helicopters because the Guard has no intermediate maintenance 
capability.[Footnote 6],[Footnote 7] In addition, recently fielded 
systems and systems still under development may have unique technical 
requirements for which the services have not had time to develop 
training courses and train service personnel. For example, when the 
Army's 4th Infantry Division deployed in support of the recent war in 
Iraq, about one-third of the 183 contractor employees that deployed 
with the division deployed to support the high tech digital command and 
control systems still in development. Similarly, when the Air Force 
deployed the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle, it required contractor 
support because the vehicle is still in development and the Air Force 
has not trained service members to maintain the Predator's data link 
system. In addition, some weapons systems, such as the Marine Corp's 
new truck, were designed to be at least partially contractor supported 
from the beginning, or the services made the decision to use contractor 
support because the limited number of assets made contractor support 
cost effective in DOD's judgment. For example, the Army's Guardrail 
surveillance aircraft is entirely supported by contractors because, 
according to Army officials, it was not cost effective to develop an 
organic maintenance capability for this aircraft.

The increasing reliance on the private sector to handle certain 
functions and capabilities has further reduced or eliminated the 
military's ability to meet certain requirements internally. For 
example, at Air Force bases in the United States contractors now 
integrate base telephone networks with local telephone systems. Since 
the Air Force eliminated this internal capability to integrate the base 
telephone network with the local telephone networks, it no longer has 
the military personnel qualified to perform this task at deployed 
locations. Also, the use of commercial off-the-shelf equipment results 
in an increased use of contractors. For example, the Air Force and the 
Navy use commercial communications systems at deployed locations in 
Southwest Asia and support this equipment with contractors. According 
to one Navy official with whom we spoke, the Navy uses contractors 
because it does not train its personnel to maintain commercial systems.

In other cases, required skills are limited, and there is a need to 
conserve high-demand, low-density[Footnote 8] units for future 
operations. Air Force officials in Southwest Asia told us that they use 
contractors to maintain the generators that provide power to the bases 
there because the Air Force has a limited number of qualified 
maintenance personnel, and their frequent deployment was having a 
negative impact on retention.

Impact of Contractors on Training:

While most commanders believed that replacing service members with 
contractors in deployed locations had no negative impact on the 
training of military members, some believed that service members who 
did not deploy with their units were missing valuable training 
opportunities. We found opinions varied depending on the skill or 
military occupation that was being replaced. For example, commanders 
told us that food service personnel and communications personnel would 
not benefit from deploying to Bosnia and Kosovo at this time because 
these locations no longer replicate field conditions, rather they more 
closely resemble bases in Germany or the United States. Other 
commanders told us that they believed that logistics personnel as well 
as vehicle maintenance personnel were missing the opportunity to work 
in high volume situations in a more intense environment.

At some locations, contractor employees who work with military 
personnel are providing training although such training may not be a 
requirement of the contract. Contractors are training soldiers on 
systems they ordinarily would not be exposed to, such as specially 
modified high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (Humvees) in 
Bosnia and commercial power generators in Kuwait. They also train 
soldiers to operate and maintain the newest technologies, such as 
computers and communications systems supporting intelligence 
operations in Southwest Asia. Training is comprised of not only hands-
on experience but often structured training classes as well.

DOD and the Services Have Not Identified Essential Services Provided by 
Contracts or Developed Plans for Their Continuation Should Contractors 
Not Be Available:

Contractors provide DOD with a wide variety of services at deployed 
locations, and while DOD uses contractors as part of the total force 
mix and recognizes the need to continue essential contractor 
services[Footnote 9] during crises, it has not included them in 
operational and strategic planning. DOD policy requires its 
components[Footnote 10] to annually review all contractor services, 
including new and existing contracts to determine which services will 
be essential during crisis situations. Where there is a reasonable 
doubt about the continuation of essential services during crisis 
situations by the contractor, the cognizant component commander is 
required to prepare a contingency plan for obtaining the essential 
service from alternate sources. However, we found that the required 
contract reviews were not done, and there was little in the way of 
backup plans. Many commanders assumed that other contractors or 
military units would be available to provide the essential service if 
the original contractors were no longer available. However, the 
commanders had no way of knowing if these assets would actually be 
available when needed. Additionally, DOD has not integrated its 
contractor workforce into its human capital strategy.

DOD Has Directed the Identification of Contractor-Provided Essential 
Services That Need to Continue During Crises:

As early as 1988, DOD noted the lack of a central policy or an 
oversight mechanism for the identification and management of essential 
contractor services. A DOD Inspector General report,[Footnote 11] 
issued in November 1988, noted that DOD components could not ensure 
that the emergency essential services performed by contractors would 
continue during a crisis or hostile situation. The report also stated 
that there was "no central oversight of contracts for emergency 
essential services, no legal basis to compel contractors to perform, 
and no means to enforce contractual terms." The report recommended that 
all commands identify (1) "war-stopper" services that should be 
performed exclusively by military personnel and (2) those services that 
could be contracted out, if a contingency plan existed, to ensure 
continued performance if a contractor does not perform. DOD concurred 
with the reports findings and recommendations and drafted a directive 
to address them. This effort led to the issuance of DOD Instruction 
3020.37,[Footnote 12] in November 1990, which addresses the 
continuation of essential contractor services during crisis situations.

In 1991, the Department of Defense Inspector General reported[Footnote 
13] on this issue again. The Inspector General reported that generally 
"contingency plans did not exist to ensure continued performance of 
essential services if a contractor defaulted during a crisis 
situation." The Inspector General's report also stated that there was 
no central policy or oversight for the identification and management of 
essential services until DOD Instruction 3020.37 was issued. The 
Inspector General's report noted that none of the major or subordinate 
commands that they visited could provide them with data concerning all 
contracts vital to combat or crisis operations. The report concluded 
that although DOD's instruction provided the needed central policy that 
promotes the continuation of emergency essential services during crises 
and hostile situations, the instruction needed revision to provide 
additional assurances such as the identification of war-stopper 
services and an annual reporting system identifying the numbers of 
emergency essential contracts and their attendant personnel. DOD 
concurred with the report findings but believed that since DOD 
Instruction 3020.37 had just been issued, the services and agencies 
should be given time to implement it.

DOD Instruction 3020.37 Requires Component Heads to Take Action:

DOD Instruction 3020.37 assigns responsibilities and prescribes 
procedures to implement DOD policy to assure that components (1) 
develop and implement plans and procedures that are intended to provide 
reasonable assurance of the continuation of essential services during 
crisis situations and (2) prepare a contingency plan for obtaining the 
essential service from alternate sources where there is a reasonable 
doubt about the continuation of that service. Responsibility for 
ensuring that all contractor services are reviewed annually, to include 
new and existing contracts, to determine which services will be 
essential during crisis situations rests with the heads of DOD 
components. They must also conduct an annual assessment of the 
unexpected or early loss of essential contractor services on the 
effectiveness of support to mobilizing and deployed forces. The results 
of these assessments are to be included in the affected contingency or 
operations plans.

Planning procedures for component activities using essential contractor 
services are specified in DOD Instruction 3020.37. The component is to 
identify services that are mission essential and designate them in the 
contract statement of work. Where a reasonable assurance of 
continuation of essential contractor services cannot be attained, the 
component activity commander is to do one of three things. The first is 
to obtain military, DOD civilian, or host nation personnel to perform 
the services concerned, and, in consultation with legal and contracting 
personnel, determine the proper course of action to transition from the 
contractor-provided services. The second is to prepare a contingency 
plan for obtaining the essential services from other sources if the 
contractor does not perform in a crisis. The third option for the 
commander is to accept the risk attendant with a disruption of the 
service during a crisis situation. Figure 2 shows the essential 
planning process required by DOD Instruction 3020.37.

Figure 2: DOD Instruction 3020.37 Essential Services Planning 
Procedures:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

DOD has also directed regional combatant commanders to identify 
contractors providing mission essential services and develop plans to 
mitigate their possible loss. In late 2002, the Joint Staff modified 
the logistics supplement to the Joint Strategic Capabilities 
Plan[Footnote 14] to require the development of a mitigation plan that 
details transitioning to other support should commercial deliveries 
and/or support become compromised. This was partly in response to 
problems with fuel deliveries in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring 
Freedom. Also, Joint Staff guidance for the development of operational 
plans by the regional combatant commanders requires that those plans 
identify mission essential services provided by contractors and 
identify the existence of any contingency plans to ensure these 
services continue.

Essential Contractor Services Have Not Been Identified:

As noted earlier, DOD Instruction 3020.37 was issued in response to a 
1988 DOD Inspector General report, and in 1991 DOD stated that the 
components should be given time to implement it. However, as of April 
2003, 12 years later, we found little evidence that the DOD components 
are implementing the DOD Instruction. The heads of DOD components are 
required by the instruction to ensure that the instruction's policies 
and procedures are implemented by relevant subordinate organizations. 
However, none of the services are conducting the annual review to 
identify mission essential services that are being provided by 
contractors. Service and combatant command officials we spoke with were 
generally unaware of the requirement to review contracts annually and 
identify essential services. None of the regional combatant commands, 
service component commanders, or installations visited during our 
review had an ongoing process for reviewing contracts as required by 
DOD Instruction 3020.37. Without identifying mission essential 
contracts, commanders do not know what essential services could be at 
risk during operations. Furthermore, the commanders cannot determine 
when backup plans are needed, nor can they assess the risk they would 
have to accept with the loss of contractor services. One Air Force 
official indicated that our visit had prompted a review of their 
contracts to identify those that provided essential services and that 
he became aware of this requirement only when we asked about their 
compliance with the instruction.

Additionally, DOD has limited knowledge of the extent to which DOD 
Instruction 3020.37 is being implemented. The instruction states that 
an office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense will 
"periodically monitor implementation of this instruction." However, we 
found no evidence that the required monitoring had ever taken place. In 
discussion with the office that has primary responsibility for the 
instruction (located in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense 
for Personnel and Readiness) we were told that the monitoring process 
is informal and that since DOD components have not advised the office 
of any significant problems in implementing the instruction (as 
required by the instruction) it is assumed that it is being 
implemented.

Backup Planning Is Not Being Done:

We found little in the way of backup plans to replace mission essential 
contractor services during crises if necessary. This is not surprising 
since a prerequisite to developing a backup plan is the identification 
of those contracts that provide essential services. Many of the people 
we talked to assumed that the personnel needed to continue essential 
services would be provided, either by other contractors or organic 
military capability and did not see a need for a formal backup plan. 
The only written backup plan that we found was for maintenance of the 
Air Force's C21J executive aircraft.[Footnote 15] According to the 
plan, if contractors are unavailable, Air Force personnel will provide 
maintenance. However, according to Air Force officials, no one in the 
Air Force is trained to maintain this aircraft.

Our review of unclassified portions of operations plans[Footnote 16] 
addressing logistics support revealed no backup planning. For example, 
in our review of the logistics portion of the operations plan for the 
war in Iraq, which addresses contracting, we found that there were no 
backup plans should contractors become unavailable to provide essential 
services. The plan provides guidance on certain aspects of contracting, 
such as the creation of a joint contracting cell, but there is no 
language pertaining to backup plans. In addition, our review of 
operations plans for the Balkans did not identify any reference to 
plans for the mitigation of the loss of contractor support.

Lack of Backup Plans May Be Shortsighted:

In response to our questions about a lack of backup plans, many DOD 
officials noted that contractors have always supported U.S. forces in 
deployed locations and the officials expect that to continue.[Footnote 
17] While most of the contractor personnel we spoke with in the Persian 
Gulf indicated that they would remain in the event of war with Iraq, 
they cannot be ordered to remain in a hostile environment or replace 
other contractors that choose not to deploy. DOD can initiate legal 
action against a contractor for nonperformance, but the mission 
requirement the contractor was responsible for remains.

Assuming that existing contractor employees will be available to 
perform essential services may not always be realistic. Reasons for the 
loss of contractor support can extend beyond contractors refusing to 
deploy to or remain in the deployed location. Contractors could be 
killed (seven contractor employees were killed in the 1991 Gulf War) or 
incapacitated by hostile action, accident, or other unforeseen events. 
Furthermore, there is no guarantee that a contractor will be willing to 
deploy to replace the original contractor.

Should contractors become unavailable, many of the people we talked to 
assumed that the personnel needed to continue essential services would 
be provided either by other contractors or organic military capability, 
or they would do without the service. However, these assumptions have 
not been vetted, and key questions remain.

The ability to replace existing contractor services with a new 
contractor can be dependent on the support being provided. Assumptions 
that military resources will be available may not recognize that 
multiple commands may be relying on the same unit as backup and that 
these units therefore may not be available, or organic capability may 
not exist. As we noted earlier the lack of organic capability is one 
reason that DOD uses contractors. The Air Force's lack of in-house 
maintenance capability for its C21J aircraft mentioned earlier and the 
Army's total dependence on contractor support for all its fixed wing 
aircraft are examples of the lack of organic capability. For some 
contracts, comparably skilled contractor personnel may not be available 
from other companies. For example, we were told at one location that 
only certain contractors have access to proprietary technical and 
backup data from the manufacturers of specific aircraft or systems. 
Additionally, the contracted services required for military operations 
may also be needed by others. For example, shortages of qualified 
linguists to support Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan delayed 
interrogations and signals exploitation. Among the reasons given for 
the shortage were the competing demands of other government agencies 
for the same skills.

If the decision to do without the essential service is made, the risk 
associated with this decision must be examined and determined to be 
acceptable, particularly in light of the reliance on contractors. 
Without contractor support certain missions would be at risk. For 
example, Task Force Eagle in Bosnia relies on contracted linguistic and 
intelligence analyst services. We were told that if the contracted 
services were lost, it would mean an immediate critical loss would 
occur for the military because DOD does not have service personnel with 
these skills. Another example is biological detection equipment used by 
the Army deployed in Afghanistan in October 2001. The equipment is 
operated by Army personnel but is entirely dependent upon contractor 
support for maintenance in the field. The loss of this contractor 
support would adversely affect the Army's ability to detect biological 
threats at deployed locations.

Contractors Are Not Included in DOD's Human Capital Strategic Plan:

DOD relies on contractors as part of the total force. According to 
Joint Publication 4-05,[Footnote 18]

"The total force policy is one fundamental premise upon which our 
military force structure is built. It was institutionalized in 1973 and 
Ö as policy matured, military retirees, DOD personnel, contractor 
personnel, and host-nation support personnel were brought under its 
umbrella to reflect the value of their contributions to our military 
capability.":

Furthermore, DOD policy states "the DOD Components shall rely on the 
most effective mix of the Total Force, cost and other factors 
considered, including active, reserve, civilian, host-nation, and 
contract resources necessary to fulfill assigned peacetime and wartime 
missions."[Footnote 19]

While DOD policy may consider contractors as part of the total force, 
its human capital strategy does not. As we recently reported,[Footnote 
20] DOD has not integrated the contractor workforce into its overall 
human capital strategic plans.[Footnote 21] The civilian plan notes 
that contractors are part of the unique mix of DOD resources, but the 
plan does not discuss how DOD will shape its future workforce in a 
total force context that includes contractors. This situation is in 
contrast to what studies on human capital planning at DOD have noted. 
For example, the Defense Science Board's 2000 report on Human Resources 
Strategy[Footnote 22] states that DOD needs to undertake deliberate and 
integrated force shaping of the civilian and military forces, address 
human capital challenges from a total force perspective, and base 
decisions to convert functions from military to civilians or 
contractors on an integrated human resources plan. In addition, the 
National Academy of Public Administration noted that as more work is 
privatized and more traditionally military tasks require support of 
civilian or contractor personnel, a more unified approach to force 
planning and management will be necessary; serious shortfalls in any 
one of the force elements (military, civilian, or contractor) will 
damage mission accomplishment.[Footnote 23]

DOD disagreed with our March 2003 recommendation that it develop a 
departmentwide human capital strategic plan that integrates both 
military and civilian workforces and takes into account contractor 
roles.[Footnote 24] In disagreeing, DOD said that it presently has both 
a military and civilian plan; the use of contractors is just another 
tool to accomplish the mission, not a separate workforce, with separate 
needs, to manage. The intent of our recommendation is that strategic 
planning for the civilian workforce be undertaken in the context of the 
total force--civilian, military, and contractors--because the three 
workforces are expected to perform their responsibilities in a seamless 
manner to accomplish DOD's mission. We continue to believe that 
strategic planning in a total force context is especially important 
because the trend toward greater reliance on contractors requires a 
critical mass of civilian and military personnel with the expertise 
necessary to protect the government's interest and ensure effective 
oversight of contractors' work. Integrated planning could also 
facilitate achieving a goal in the Quadrennial Defense Review to focus 
DOD's resources (personnel) in those areas that directly contribute to 
war fighting and to rely on the private sector for non-core functions.

Guidance and Contract Language and Oversight Vary within DOD and the 
Services:

Guidance at the DOD, combatant-command, and service levels regarding 
the use of contractors to support deployed forces varies widely as do 
the mechanisms for managing these contractors, creating challenges that 
may hinder a commander's ability to oversee and manage contractors 
efficiently. There is no DOD-wide guidance that establishes baseline 
polices to help ensure the efficient use of contractors that support 
deployed forces. The Joint Staff has developed general guidance for 
regional combatant commanders. At the service level, only the Army has 
developed comprehensive guidance to help commanders manage deployed 
contractors effectively. Furthermore, there is little or no visibility 
of contractors or contracts at the regional combatant or service 
component command level. As a result, contractors have arrived at 
deployed locations unbeknownst to the ground commander and without the 
government support they needed to do their jobs. Moreover, ground 
commanders have little visibility over the totality of contractors that 
provide services at their installations, causing concerns regarding 
safety and security.

Guidance on the Use of Contractors to Support Deployed Forces Varies 
Widely:

Guidance for issues that impact all the components originates at the 
DOD level. Typically, DOD will issue a directive--a broad policy 
document containing what is required to initiate, govern, or regulate 
actions or conduct by DOD components. This directive establishes a 
baseline policy that applies across the combatant commands, services, 
and DOD agencies. DOD may also issue an instruction--which implements 
the policy, or prescribes the manner or a specific plan or action for 
carrying out the policy, operating a program or activity, and assigning 
responsibilities. For example:

* DOD Directive 2000.12[Footnote 25] establishes DOD's antiterrorism 
and force protection policy.

* DOD Instruction 2000.16[Footnote 26] establishes specific force 
protection standards pursuant to the policy established by DOD 
Directive 2000.12.

In the case of contractor support for deployed forces, we found no DOD-
wide guidance that establishes any baseline policy regarding the use of 
contractors to support deployed forces or the government's obligations 
to these contractors.[Footnote 27] However, there are varying degrees 
of guidance at the joint and service level to instruct commanders on 
the use of contractors.

The Joint Staff has developed guidance for regional combatant 
commanders. Joint Publication 4-0, Doctrine for Logistic Support of 
Joint Operations, "Chapter V, Contractors in the Theater"[Footnote 28] 
sets forth doctrine on the use of contractors and provides a framework 
for addressing contractor support issues. The Joint Publication 
describes the regional combatant commander's general responsibilities, 
including:

* integration of contractors as part of the force as reflected in the 
Time-Phased Force and Deployment Data,[Footnote 29] logistics plans, 
and operation plans;

* compliance with international, U.S., and host nation laws and 
determination of restrictions imposed by international agreements on 
the status of contractors;

* establishment of theater-specific requirements and policies for 
contractors and communication of those requirements to the contractors; 
and:

* establishment of procedures to integrate and monitor contracting 
activities.

No single document informs the combatant commander of his 
responsibilities with regards to contractors. Rather, there is a 
variety of guidance that applies to contractors and appears in joint or 
DOD publications. For example, in addition to Joint Publication 4-0, 
the following DOD documents address contractors at deployed locations:

* DOD Directive 2000.12 and DOD Instruction 2000.16, define the anti-
terrorism and force protection responsibilities of the military. These 
include force protection responsibilities to contractors as well as 
requirements placed on contractors who deploy.

* Joint Publication 3-11,[Footnote 30] includes a requirement that 
mission-essential contractors be provided with chemical and biological 
survival equipment and training.

* DOD Directive 4500.54[Footnote 31] requires all non-DOD personnel 
traveling under DOD sponsorship to obtain country clearance. While the 
directive does not specify contractors, it does apply to them, further 
complicating the ability of a commander to become aware of this 
responsibility.

Joint Publication 4-0 only applies to combatant commanders involved in 
joint operations. However, at the regional combatant commands we 
visited, contracting, logistics, and planning officials were not 
implementing the Joint Publication.

At the service level, only the Army has developed comprehensive 
guidance to help commanders manage contractors effectively. As the 
primary user of contractors while deployed, the Army has taken the lead 
in formulating policies and doctrine addressing the use of contractors 
in deployed locations. Army regulations, field manuals, and pamphlets 
provide a wide array of guidance on the use of contractors. The 
following are examples:

* Army Regulation 715-9--Contractors Accompanying the Force[Footnote 
32]--provides policies, procedures, and responsibilities for managing 
and using contracted U.S. citizens who are deployed to support Army 
requirements.

* Army Field Manual 3-100.21--Contractors on the Battlefield [Footnote 
33]--addresses the use of contractors as an added resource for the 
commander to consider when planning support for an operation. Its 
purpose is to define the role of contractors, describe their 
relationships to the combatant commanders and the Army service 
component commanders, and explain their mission of augmenting 
operations and weapons systems support. It is also a guide for Army 
contracting personnel and contractors in implementing planning 
decisions and understanding how contractors will be managed and 
supported by the military forces they augment.

* Army Pamphlet 715-16--Contractor Deployment Guide[Footnote 34]--
informs contractor employees, contracting officers, and field 
commanders of the current policies and procedures that may affect the 
deployment of contractors. The guide focuses on the issues surrounding 
a U.S. citizen contractor employee who is deploying from the United 
States to a theater of operation overseas.

These documents provide comprehensive and detailed direction to 
commanders, contracting personnel, and contractors on what their roles 
and responsibilities are and how they should meet them. Officials we 
spoke with at various levels of the Army were generally aware of the 
Army's guidance. For example, in Kosovo we received a briefing from the 
commander of the Area Support Group that included the applicable Army 
guidance on the use of contractors in deployed locations. Additionally, 
the Army Materiel Command has established a Web site[Footnote 35] that 
contains links to primary and secondary documents that provide guidance 
on the use of contractors on the battlefield.

The other services make less use of contractors to support deployed 
forces. Nevertheless, their contractors provide many of the same 
services as the Army's contractors, often under similar austere 
conditions at the same locations and therefore have similar force 
protection and support requirements as Army contractors. For example, 
both Air Force and Army contractors work at bases in Kuwait and do not 
have significant differences in terms of their living and working 
conditions or the types of threats they face. Also, it is not uncommon 
to find Air Force contractors deployed in support of the other 
services, as is the case in Bosnia where Air Force contractors maintain 
the Army's Apache and Blackhawk helicopters.

However, the other services have not developed the same level of 
guidance as the Army to guide commanders and contracting personnel on 
how to meet those requirements. Like the Army, the Air Force uses 
contractors for base operations support (including security, trash 
removal, and construction services) in deployed locations. Contractors 
also provide many essential services to Air Force units deployed to 
Bosnia and Southwest Asia. In Southwest Asia contractors provide 
support for base communications systems, systems that generate the 
tactical air picture for the Combined Air Operations Center, and 
maintenance support for both the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle and 
the data links it uses to transmit information. In 2001, the Air Force 
issued a policy memorandum[Footnote 36] addressing the use of 
contractors in deployed locations. The purpose of the memorandum is to 
provide consistent and uniform guidance on the use of U.S. contractor 
personnel to augment the support of Air Force operations in wartime and 
contingency operations. For example, the memorandum states as follows:

* Any determination regarding commercial support must consider the 
essential services that must be maintained and the risks associated due 
to contractor non-performance.

* Contractors may be provided force protection and support services 
such as housing and medical support commensurate to those provided to 
DOD civilians, if the contract requires it.

* Contractors should not be provided uniforms or weapons.

However, the Air Force has not developed the guidance to instruct its 
personnel on how to implement this policy. For example, the Air Force 
does not have a comparable document to the Army's Contractor Deployment 
Guide, to instruct contracting personnel or contractor employees on 
deployment requirements such as training, medical screening, and 
logistical support.

The Navy and the Marine Corps have also not developed much guidance on 
dealing with contractors in deployed locations. The Marine Corps has 
issued an order[Footnote 37] addressing the use of contractors, which 
is limited to a statement that contractor personnel should not normally 
be deployed forward of the port of debarkation and that contractor 
logistics support requirements be identified and included in all 
planning scenarios. This guidance only addresses contractor support for 
ground equipment, ground weapons systems, munitions, and information 
systems. As with the Air Force memorandum, the Marine Corps does not 
have the guidance in place to instruct personnel on how to implement 
this order.

The Navy does not have any guidance related to contractor support of 
deployed forces. Navy officials stressed that because most Navy 
contractors are deployed to ships, many of the issues related to force 
protection and levels of support do not exist. Nevertheless, some 
contractors do support the Navy ashore and therefore may operate in an 
environment similar to contractors supporting the Army. In fact, of the 
seven contractors killed in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, three were 
working for the Navy. Furthermore, we learned that there have been 
issues with the support of contractors deployed on ships. For example, 
officials at the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command told us 
they were not sure if the Navy was authorized to provide medical 
treatment to their contractors deployed on ships.

Some Guidance Is Contradictory and Causes Confusion for Military 
Commanders:

The differences in the DOD and service guidance can lead to sometimes 
contradictory requirements, complicating the ability of commanders to 
implement that guidance. For example, guidance related to providing 
force protection to contractor personnel varies significantly. Joint 
guidance states that force protection is the responsibility of the 
contractor; Army guidance places that responsibility with the 
commander; and Air Force guidance treats force protection as a 
contractual matter, specifically, as follows:

* Joint Publication 4-0 "Chapter V," states "Force protection 
responsibility for DOD contractor employees is a contractor 
responsibility, unless valid contract terms place that responsibility 
with another party.":

* Army Field Manual 3-100.21 states, "Protecting contractors and their 
employees on the battlefield is the commander's responsibility. When 
contractors perform in potentially hostile or hazardous areas, the 
supported military forces must assure the protection of their 
operations and employees. The responsibility for assuring that 
contractors receive adequate force protection starts with the combatant 
commander, extends downward, and includes the contractor.":

* The Air Force policy memorandum states, "The Air Force may provide or 
make available, under terms and conditions as specified in the 
contract, force protection Ö commensurate with those provided to DOD 
civilian personnel to the extent authorized by U.S. and host nation 
law.":

As a result, the combatant commander does not have a uniform set of 
requirements he can incorporate into his planning process but instead 
has to work with requirements that vary according to the services and 
the individual contracts. In fact, an official on the Joint Staff told 
us that the combatant commanders have requested DOD-wide guidance on 
the use of contractors to support deployed forces to establish a 
baseline that applies to all the services.

Many of the issues discussed in the balance of this report, such as the 
lack of standard contract language related to deploying contractors, 
the lack of visibility over contractors, and adequate support to 
deployed contractors stem in part from the varying guidance at the DOD 
and service levels. According to DOD officials, DOD is in the initial 
phase of developing a directive that will establish DOD policy with 
regard to managing contractors in deployed locations as well as a 
handbook providing greater detail. The officials expect this guidance 
to be issued by the end of 2003. DOD officials involved stated this 
guidance would bring together all DOD policies that apply to 
contractors who support deployed forces and clarify DOD policy on 
issues such as force protection and training. These officials indicated 
that the DOD directive and handbook would be based on the Army guidance 
on the use of contractors to support deployed forces.

Contracts for Support of Deployed Forces Often Do Not Include the 
Language to Ensure Efficient Deployments or Implement Policy:

There is no standard contract language applicable DOD-wide (such as in 
the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement) related to the 
deployment and support of contractors that support deployed forces. 
Contracting officers therefore may not address potential requirements 
related to deployments or may use whatever deployment language they 
believe to be appropriate, which may not address the necessary 
deployment requirements. The Defense Acquisition Deskbook Supplement 
entitled Contractor Support in the Theater of Operations includes 
suggested clauses for contracts in support of deployed forces. However, 
these clauses are not mandatory and did not appear to be widely known 
by contracting officers. As a result, there is no common baseline of 
contract language specifically addressing deployment that is required 
for contracts that may support deployed forces and no assurance that 
all of these contracts will properly address deployment requirements.

The degree to which individual contracts adequately address deployment 
requirements varies widely. System support contracts are often written 
before the need to deploy is identified, and the contracting officer 
may not have considered the possibility of deployment. Also, some 
weapons systems are being deployed before they are fully developed, and 
deployment language was not included in the development contracts. Some 
of the system support contracts we looked at did not include language 
clearly specifying that contractors may need to deploy to hostile and 
austere locations to provide support to deployed forces, as in the 
following examples:

* The contract for an Army communications system needed to be modified 
when the system was relocated from Saudi Arabia to Kuwait (and would 
need to be modified again if the system were brought into Iraq) because 
the contract did not contain provisions for deployment to other 
locations.

* The Air Force Predator unmanned aerial vehicle contract did not 
envision deployment since the Predator was developed as an advanced 
technology concept demonstration project.

* An engineering support contract for the Navy did not contain a 
specific deployment clause but only stated that the contractor must 
support the Navy ashore or afloat.

The Army's Combined Arms Support Command found a similar situation when 
it reviewed system support contracts for the 4th Infantry Division. The 
4th Infantry Division is the Army's first digitized division and serves 
as the test bed for the latest command and control systems, many of 
which are still under development. The Combined Arms Support Command 
study[Footnote 38] reviewed 89 contracts that supported the division. 
The command determined that 44 of the 89 contracts would likely require 
that contractor personnel be deployed and found that 21 of the 44 
either had no deployment language or vague deployment language. 
However, this did not impede the division's deployment for Operation 
Iraqi Freedom. According to Army officials, 183 contractor employees 
prepared to deploy in support of the 4th Infantry Division's 
deployment, including some whose contracts were noted in the 4th 
Infantry Division study as having had either no deployment language or 
vague deployment language. To ensure that problems do not arise when 
units deploy, the Army has taken steps to address some of the issues 
identified in the study. Specifically, in 2002, the Assistant Secretary 
of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology issued the 
following memorandums:

* A January 2002 memorandum[Footnote 39] stating that development 
contracts providing support contractor personnel shall contain 
appropriate deployment guidance if they have any likelihood of being 
deployed outside of the United States.

* A June 2002 memorandum[Footnote 40] stating that Program Executive 
Officers and Program Managers should strive to develop systems that do 
not require contractor support in forward deployed locations.

Military officials we spoke with told us that the lack of specific 
deployment language in contracts could increase the time it would take 
to get contractor support to deployed forces as well as the cost of 
that support. For example, the contract for support of the Army's 
prepositioned equipment in Qatar did not include language that provided 
for a potential deployment to Kuwait. As a result, when the need arose 
to move the equipment to Kuwait, the contract needed to be modified. 
(The cost of the modification was $53 million although it is not clear 
what amount, if any, the government could have saved had deployment 
language already been included in the contract.):

Contacts may also lack language to enforce policies pertaining to 
contractors in deployed locations. For example, Army policy requires 
that contractors follow all general orders[Footnote 41] and force 
protection policies of the local commander. However, these requirements 
were not always written into the contract documents and thus may not be 
enforceable. In such situations, commanders may not have the ability to 
control contractor activities in accordance with general orders. For 
example, judge advocate officials in Bosnia expressed their concern 
that the base commander was not authorized to prevent contractor 
personnel from entering a local mosque in a high threat environment. 
These officials suggested that commanders should always be able to 
control contractor activities where matters of force protection are 
concerned. Several officials indicated that many of these issues could 
be addressed if DOD implemented a policy that required all contracts 
that support deployed forces to include language that applies the 
general orders and force protection policies of the local commanders to 
contractor employees.

Oversight of Individual Contracts at the Deployed Locations We Visited 
Appeared to Be Generally Sufficient:

DOD has established specific policies on how contracts, including those 
that support deployed forces, should be administered and managed. 
Oversight of contracts ultimately rests with the contracting officer 
who has the responsibility for ensuring that contractors meet the 
requirements set forth in the contract. However, most contracting 
officers are not located at the deployed locations. As a result, 
contracting officers appoint monitors who represent the contracting 
officer at the deployed location and are responsible for monitoring 
contractor performance. How contracts and contractors are monitored at 
a deployed location is largely a function of the size and scope of the 
contract. Contracting officers for large scale and high value contracts 
such as the Air Force Contract Augmentation Program, the Army's 
Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, and the Balkan Support Contract 
have opted to have personnel from the Defense Contract Management 
Agency oversee contractor performance. These onsite teams include 
administrative contracting officers who direct the contractor to 
perform work and quality assurance specialists who ensure that the 
contractors perform work to the standards written in the contracts. For 
smaller contracts, contracting officers usually appoint contracting 
officer's representatives or contracting officer's technical 
representatives to monitor contractor performance at deployed 
locations. These individuals are not normally contracting specialists 
and serve as contracting officer's representatives as an additional 
duty. They cannot direct the contractor by making commitments or 
changes that affect price, quality, quantity, delivery, or other terms 
and conditions of the contract. Instead, they act as the eyes and ears 
of the contracting officer and serve as the liaison between the 
contractor and the contracting officer.

At the locations we visited, we found that oversight personnel were 
generally in place and procedures had been established to monitor 
contractor performance, but some issues were identified. The officials 
we spoke with expressed their satisfaction with contractor performance 
and with the level of oversight provided for the contracts under their 
purview. However, officials mentioned several areas where improvements 
to the oversight process could be made. One area involved training of 
contracting officer's representatives. While the contracting officer's 
representatives we spoke with appeared to be providing appropriate 
contract oversight, some stated that training before they assumed these 
positions would have better prepared them to effectively oversee 
contractor performance. The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation 
Supplement requires that they be qualified by training and experience 
commensurate with the responsibilities to be delegated to them. 
However, not all contracting officer's representatives were receiving 
this training. For example, most of the contracting officer's 
representatives we met with in Southwest Asia did not receive prior 
training. As a result, they had to learn on the job, taking several 
weeks before they could efficiently execute their responsibilities, 
which could lead to gaps in contractor oversight.

Another area for improvement involved familiarization of commanders 
with using contractors. Several of the contracting officials we met 
with in the Balkans and Southwest Asia stated there was a lack of 
training or education for commanders and senior personnel on the use of 
contractors; particularly with regards to the directing of contractor 
activities and the roles of the contract monitors such as the Defense 
Contract Management Agency and contracting officer's representatives, 
as illustrated in the following examples:

* An Air Force commander sent a contractor from Kuwait to Afghanistan 
without going through the appropriate contracting officer. The 
contractor was ultimately recalled to Kuwait because the contract 
contained no provision for support in Afghanistan.

* A Special Operations Command official told us commanders were 
unfamiliar with the Defense Contract Management Agency and believed 
that the agency represented the contractor and not the military.

* An Army official told us that commanders sometimes do not know that 
they are responsible for requesting and nominating a contracting 
officer's representative for contracts supporting their command.

Some efforts are being made to address this issue. For example, U.S. 
Army, Europe includes contract familiarization during mission rehearsal 
exercises for Balkan deployments.

We also found that the frequent rotation of personnel into and out of a 
theater of operation (particularly in Southwest Asia) resulted in a 
loss of continuity in the oversight process as incoming oversight 
personnel had to familiarize themselves with their new 
responsibilities. We previously reported on the impact of frequent 
rotations in and out of the theater.[Footnote 42] In response to a 
recommendation made in our 2000 report, the Defense Contract Management 
Agency changed its rotation policy. According to officials whom we met 
with in the Balkans and Southwest Asia, the Defense Contract Management 
Agency now staggers the rotation of its contract administration 
officials at deployed locations such as the Balkans and Southwest Asia 
to improve continuity and oversight. However, the issue of personnel 
rotation and the impact on contractor oversight remains for other 
officials. For example, the program manager of a major Army contract in 
Qatar indicated that it would be beneficial if Army personnel 
overseeing the contract were deployed for a longer period of time in 
order to develop a more durable relationship. In addition, Air Force 
officials in Qatar indicated they were planning on increasing the 
number of longer-term deployments for key leadership positions, 
including contracting positions, to help alleviate some of their 
continuity issues.

Some commands have established policies and procedures to provide 
additional tools to help manage contractors more efficiently, as in the 
following example:

* U.S. Army, Europe established a joint acquisition review board during 
contingency operations. This board validates requirements for all 
proposed expenditures over $2,500. The board also determines if the 
requirement is best met using contractor support, host nation support, 
or troop labor. The policy stipulates that U.S. Army, Europe 
headquarters must review expenditures over $50,000.

* U.S. Army, Europe has established standards for facilities and 
support to soldiers in contingency operations. These standards specify 
the level of quality of life support (i.e. type of housing, size of 
chapels, provision of recreational facilities, and other amenities) 
based on the number of U.S. troops at the deployed location. Variations 
from these standards have to be approved by the U.S. Army, Europe 
deputy commanding general. Officials told us these standards helped to 
limit the growth of contractor services.

Lack of Visibility Overall Contractor Support Hampers Broader 
Oversight:

Limited awareness by service and combatant command officials of all 
contractor activity supporting their operations can hamper their 
oversight and management responsibilities with regards to contractors 
supporting deployed forces. This limited awareness is due to the fact 
that the decision to use contractors to provide support to a deployed 
location can be made by any number of requiring activities both within 
and outside of the area of operations. As discussed earlier, contracts 
to support deployed forces can be awarded by many organizations within 
DOD or by other federal agencies. Figure 3 illustrates the broad array 
of contractor services being provided in Bosnia and the government 
agency that awarded each contract. Bosnia is one of the few places we 
visited where contract information is collected centrally, giving the 
commander visibility over much of the contracting activity. Commanders 
at other locations we visited did not have this information readily 
available to them.

Figure 3: Contracts for Selected Services in Bosnia Are Awarded by Many 
Different Agencies:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Because the decision to use contractors is not coordinated at the 
regional combatant commands or the component commands other than in 
Bosnia, no one knows the totality of contractor support being provided 
to deployed forces in an area of operation.

Despite the lack of visibility and involvement in decisions to use 
contractors, commanders are responsible for all the people in their 
area of responsibility, including contractor personnel. This lack of 
visibility over contractor personnel inhibits their ability to resolve 
issues associated with contractor support. Contractor visibility is 
needed to ensure that the overall contractor presence in a theater is 
synchronized with the combat forces being supported and that 
adjustments can be made to contractor support when necessary. 
Additionally, in order to provide operational support and force 
protection to participating contractors, DOD needs to maintain 
visibility of all contracts and contractor employees. When commanders 
lack visibility, problems can arise. For example, one contractor told 
us when his employees arrived in Afghanistan, shortly after the 
beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, the base commander had not 
been informed that they were arriving and could not provide the 
facilities they needed to maintain the biological identification 
equipment that they were contracted to maintain. Also, the lack of 
visibility may inhibit a commander's understanding of the impact of 
certain force protection decisions. For example, if there is an 
increased threat at a base and security is increased, third country 
nationals may be barred from entering the base. Third country nationals 
often provide services important to the quality of life of deployed 
soldiers, such as preparing and serving food and providing sanitation 
services. Without visibility over the totality of contractor support to 
his command, the commander may not know which support services rely 
heavily on third country nationals and is therefore less able to 
identify and mitigate the effects of losing that support.

Limited visibility of all contractor activity can create a variety of 
problems for ground commanders. Commanders may not be aware of the 
total number of contractor personnel on their installations at any 
point in time or what they are doing there. In Southwest Asia this 
situation is further complicated by the fact that many of the 
contractor employees are third country nationals, which can increase 
security concerns. While many officials at sites we visited indicated 
that they maintain accountability for their contractors by tightly 
controlling the process by which contractors receive their 
identification badges, we found problems remained. As illustrated in 
the following examples:

* In Kosovo, we found that badges were issued at multiple locations and 
provided access to multiple bases. This situation means a contractor 
employee could receive a badge at one site and come onto a different 
base without the base commander knowing who they were or why they were 
there.

* Temporary badges (for visits of 30 days or less) at Eagle base in 
Bosnia have no pictures. The lack of photos means that anyone could use 
the badge to gain access to the base.

* The contracting officer's representative for a forward base in Kuwait 
told us that contractor personnel have simply shown up without any 
advance notification and that he had to track down other officials to 
determine why the contractors were there.

Commanders may also be responsible for providing contractor employees 
with certain benefits and entitlements included in their contracts. The 
commanders' ability to meet these requirements (including providing 
chemical and biological protective gear, military escorts, billeting, 
and medical support) is hindered by their lack of visibility over the 
totality of contractor presence on their base. In addition, commanders 
may not be able to account for all their contractor personnel in the 
event of an attack on a base. Similarly, should issues such as those 
concerning "Gulf War Syndrome"[Footnote 43] arise, DOD may be unable to 
determine if contractor personnel were in a location where they might 
have been exposed to potentially harmful substances. As a result, DOD 
may have no way to verify the claims of contractor personnel of health 
effects resulting from such exposure.

We also found that, at some bases, commanders do not have copies of all 
the contracts in effect on their base, as the following examples 
illustrate:

* U.S. Army Pacific Command officials told us it took several weeks for 
them to obtain the applicable contract terms to resolve questions 
regarding medical care for contractor employees in the Philippines 
because no one in the command had a copy of the contract.

* In the Balkans, some contractors and federal agencies refused to 
provide copies of their contracts to the task force officials.

We first reported this problem in May 2002.[Footnote 44] At that time 
we recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct all components to 
forward to the executive agent for operations in a geographical area, 
such as the Balkans, a copy of all existing and future contracts and 
contract modifications. DOD concurred with this recommendation and 
agreed to modify its Financial Management Regulation to require that a 
biannual report outlining the contracts be provided to the area 
executive agent.[Footnote 45] The biannual report was limited, however, 
to contracts that used contingency appropriations for funding and did 
not include contracts that use a service's base program funds. However, 
Balkans operations are no longer being funded using contingency funds 
and would therefore not be included under the new financial management 
regulation. As of April 15, 2003, the change to the Financial 
Management Regulation had not been implemented. In addition, as we 
reported in May 2002, lack of visibility over contracts hinders DOD's 
ability to compare contracts and identify potential duplication of 
services or ensure that contractors are only receiving those services 
to which they are entitled.

Conclusions:

Risk is inherent when relying on contractors to support deployed 
forces. DOD recognized this risk when it issued DOD Instruction 
3020.37, which requires the services to determine which contracts 
provide essential services and either develop plans for continued 
provision of those services during crises or assume the risk of not 
having the essential service. However, neither DOD nor the services 
have taken steps to ensure compliance with this instruction. While most 
contractors would likely deploy or remain in a deployed location if 
needed, there are many other reasons contractors may not be available 
to provide essential services. Without a clear understanding of the 
potential consequences of not having the essential service available, 
the risks associated with the mission increase.

There are no DOD-wide policies on the use of contractors to support 
deployed forces. As a result there is little common understanding among 
the services as to the government's responsibility to contractors and 
contractor personnel in the event of hostilities. This lack of 
understanding can cause confusion at the deployed location and makes 
managing contractors more difficult because commanders often have 
contractors from several services at their location with different 
requirements, understandings, and obligations.

No standard contract language exists for inclusion in contracts that 
may involve contractors deploying to support the force. Therefore, we 
found that contracts have varying and sometimes inconsistent language 
addressing deployment requirements. For example, some contracts do not 
contain any language related to the potential requirement to deploy 
while others include only vague references to deployment. The lack of 
specific language can require adjustments to the contract when 
deployment requirements are identified. The need to negotiate contract 
adjustments in the face of an immediate deployment can result in 
increased costs to the government and may delay contractor support.

The lack of contract training for commanders, senior personnel, and 
some contracting officer's representatives can adversely affect the 
effectiveness of the use of contractors in deployed locations. Without 
training, many commanders, senior military personnel, and contracting 
officer's representatives are not aware of their roles and 
responsibilities in dealing with contractors.

Most commanders at the locations we visited had only limited visibility 
and limited understanding of the extent and types of services being 
provided by contractors. The lack of visibility over the types and 
numbers of contractors limits the contract oversight that can be 
provided and hampers the commander's ability to maintain accountability 
of contractors. Without this visibility there is no assurance that 
commanders understand the full extent of their operational support, 
life support, and force protection responsibilities to contractors, and 
there is no way to assure that contractors do not receive services they 
are not entitled to receive. Additionally, without this visibility 
commanders cannot develop a complete picture of the extent to which 
they are reliant on contractors to perform their missions and build 
this reliance into their risk assessments. Moreover, while DOD agreed 
to provide executive agents with a biannual report outlining the 
contracts in use in a geographical location, it is not clear that these 
reports, which are required for contracts funded with contingency funds 
only, will provide sufficient information regarding the services that 
contractors are providing to deployed forces and the support and force 
protection obligations of the government to those contractors to 
improve commanders' visibility and understanding of contractor services 
at their locations.

Recommendations for Executive Action:

To promote better planning, guidance, and oversight regarding the use 
of contractors to support deployed forces, we recommend that the 
Secretary of Defense take the following actions:

* Direct the heads of DOD components to comply with DOD instruction 
3020.37 by completing the first review of contracts to identify those 
providing mission essential services. This review should be completed 
by the end of calendar year 2004.

* Direct the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to 
develop procedures to monitor the implementation of DOD Instruction 
3020.37.

* Develop DOD-wide guidance and doctrine on how to manage contractors 
that support deployed forces. The guidance should (a) establish 
baseline policies for the use of contractors to support deployed 
forces, (b) delineate the roles and responsibilities of commanders 
regarding the management and oversight of contractors that support 
deployed forces, and (c) integrate other guidance and doctrine that may 
affect DOD responsibilities to contractors in deployed locations into a 
single document to assure that commanders are aware of all applicable 
policies. Additionally, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the service secretaries to develop procedures to assure 
implementation of the DOD guidance.

* Develop and require the use of standardized deployment language in 
contracts that support or may support deployed forces. The Defense 
Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement should be amended to require 
standard clauses in such contracts that are awarded by DOD and to 
address deployment in orders placed by DOD under other agencies' 
contracts. This language should address the need to deploy into and 
around the theater, required training, entitlements, force protection, 
and other deployment related issues.

* Develop training courses for commanding officers and other senior 
leaders who are deploying to locations with contractor support. Such 
training could provide information on the roles and responsibilities of 
the Defense Contract Management Agency and the contracting officer's 
representative and the role of the commander in the contracting process 
and the limits of the commanders' authority. Also, contracting officers 
should ensure that those individuals selected as contracting officer's 
representatives complete one of the established contracting officer's 
representative training courses before they assume their duties.

* To improve the commander's visibility over, and understanding of, the 
extent and types of services being provided by contractors, the 
Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense 
(Comptroller) to implement the changes to the department's Financial 
Management Regulations previously agreed to with these modifications: 
(a) the Financial Management Regulations should specify that the 
biannual report include a synopsis of the services being provided and a 
list of contractor entitlements; (b) the report should include all 
contracts that directly support U.S. contingency operations including 
those funded by the services base program accounts; and (c) the changes 
should be finalized by January 1, 2004.

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation:

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD agreed fully with 
three of our recommendations and agreed in part with three others. The 
department's comments are reprinted in appendix II.

DOD agreed with our recommendations that it develop (1) procedures to 
monitor the implementation of DOD Instruction 3020.37, (2) DOD-wide 
guidance and doctrine on how to manage contractors that support 
deployed forces, and (3) standardized deployment language for contracts 
that support or may support deployed forces.

Although DOD agreed with our recommendation regarding the need for the 
heads of DOD components to complete the first review of contracts to 
identify those providing mission essential services, it expressed 
concerns that the components might not be able to complete this review 
by the end of calendar year 2003. We amended out recommendation to 
incorporate this concern by extending the recommended completion date 
to the end of calendar year 2004. We believe a completion date is 
important to provide some sense of urgency. DOD also stated that the 
effort needed to obtain information on contracts currently in place may 
outweigh possible benefits and suggested alternative methods for 
conducting this review, including the possibility of only reviewing new 
contracts. However, DOD Instruction 3020.37 requires a review of all 
contracts, and we continue to believe that a review that fails to 
include all contracts would not adequately address the issues that the 
instruction was designed to resolve--identifying essential services 
provided by contractors to deployed forces and ensuring the 
continuation of those services should contractors not be available.

DOD also agreed with our recommendation that appropriate training 
should be developed for commanding officers and other senior leaders 
who are deploying to locations with contractor support. However, DOD 
stated that while Web-based training may be the appropriate medium for 
such training, in some cases, alternative methods could be more 
beneficial. We accepted DOD's suggestion and amended the recommendation 
accordingly.

DOD agreed with our recommendation concerning changes to the 
department's Financial Management Regulations. However, DOD questioned 
the utility of a part of this recommendation that called for the 
biannual report to include a list of contractor entitlements as well as 
all contracts that directly support U.S. contingency operations, 
including those funded by the services' base program accounts. DOD 
stated that the costs of making these changes to the system and 
collecting additional information could outweigh the perceived 
benefits. Further, DOD stated that the lack of collecting this 
information has not jeopardized the operation of any DOD mission in 
recent memory. DOD stated that other, less burdensome ways to ensure 
combatant commanders have all the necessary information for contractors 
that are supporting them need to be fully explored before pursuing more 
burdensome means, such as a costly centralized database. DOD said it 
would review this issue with the military departments to determine if 
obtaining the recommended information would be cost effective.

We do not believe this recommendation would be costly or burdensome to 
implement. As noted in the report, the Under Secretary of Defense 
(Comptroller) has already agreed to amend DOD's Financial Management 
Regulations to require that the components provide a biannual report 
outlining the existing and future contracts and contract modifications 
to the executive agent for operations in a geographic area, including a 
synopsis of services being provided. We believe that since the 
components will already be asked to provide the biannual reports, 
asking them to provide additional information summarizing contractor 
entitlements specified under those contracts would not substantially 
increase the effort required to generate these reports. This additional 
information would facilitate DOD's efforts to ensure that contractors 
receive only the services from the government to which they are 
contractually entitled. While DOD expressed concern about developing a 
costly centralized database to generate these reports, our 
recommendation contained no guidance on how the reports should be 
generated and makes no mention of a centralized database. We agree that 
DOD should look for the most cost-effective way to implement the 
recommendation. We also continue to believe that the biannual report 
should include information from contracts that directly support U.S. 
contingency operations but are funded from the services' base program 
accounts. As noted in the report, this would include contracts 
supporting operations in the Balkans. We do not believe that these 
contracts should be excluded from the report. While we did not find 
evidence that any DOD missions were jeopardized by not having 
information summarizing contractor services and entitlements, our 
recommendation was based on concerns raised by field commanders about 
oversight of contractors and the appropriate provisioning of support to 
contractors. As noted in the report, several commanders in the field 
told us their limited visibility of the extent and types of services 
being provided by contractors created challenges for them. We continue 
to believe that without a more thorough understanding of contractor 
support, commanders will continue to face difficulties in identifying 
potential duplication of services or ensuring that contractors are only 
receiving those services to which they are entitled. Therefore, we 
still believe the recommendation in its entirety has merit.

We are sending copies of this report to the Chairman and the Ranking 
Minority Member, Subcommittee on Readiness, House Committee on Armed 
Services; other interested congressional committees; the Secretary of 
Defense; and the Director, Office of Management and Budget. We will 
also make copies available to others on request. In addition, the 
report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at http://
www.gao.gov:

If you or your staff have any questions, please contact me on (757) 
552-8111 or by E-mail at curtinn@gao.gov. Major contributors to this 
report were Steven Sternlieb, Carole Coffey, James Reid, James 
Reynolds, and Adam Vodraska.

Neal P. Curtin 
Director, 
Defense Capabilities and Management:

Signed by Neal P. Curtin:

[End of section]

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology:

To identify the types of services contractors provide to deployed U.S. 
forces we met with officials at the Department of Defense (DOD) who 
have responsibility for identifying contractor needs, issuing 
contracts, managing contracts once they are executed, and utilizing 
contractors to fulfill their missions. Because there was no 
consolidated list of contractors supporting deployed forces we asked 
DOD officials at the commands and installations we visited to identify 
their contractor support. These commands included the Central, 
European, and Pacific Commands and most of their service components and 
major installations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain. We 
focused our efforts in the Balkans and Southwest Asia because they 
provide a broad range of contractor support activities. We were 
completing our work as the 2003 war with Iraq began and so were unable 
to fully ascertain the extent of contractor support to U.S. forces 
inside Iraq. The scope of our review included system and theater 
support contracts. We also met with officials of selected contracting 
commands in the Air Force, Army, and Navy and at defense agencies 
including the Defense Logistics Agency. These officials included 
contracting officers and, where applicable, their representatives at 
deployed locations. We examined a wide range of contracts in order to 
assess the diversity of contractor support. While visiting deployed 
locations we met with representatives of the different DOD components 
and contractors stationed there to determine what contractor services 
are used to accomplish their missions.

To assess why DOD uses contractors to support deployed forces, we 
reviewed DOD studies and publications and interviewed DOD and 
contractor officials. We met with unit commanders during our visits to 
deployed locations to discuss the effects using contractors had on 
military training. We did not, however, compare the cost of contractors 
versus military personnel; make policy judgments as to whether the use 
of contractors is desirable; or look at issues related to government 
liability to contractors.

To assess DOD's efforts to identify those contractors that provide 
mission essential services and to maintain essential services if 
contractors are unable to do so, we reviewed applicable DOD Inspector 
General reports as well as DOD and its components' policies, 
regulations, and instructions for ensuring the continuation of 
essential services. In particular, we reviewed DOD Instruction 3020.37, 
which sets forth the policies and procedures for identifying mission 
essential services and the steps necessary to assure the continuation 
of such services. We held discussions with command, service, and 
installation officials on the extent to which the required review of 
contracts to identify mission essential services had been conducted and 
on their backup planning should contractors not be able to perform such 
services for any reason. We also met with officials of the office 
responsible for monitoring implementation to ascertain what efforts 
they have undertaken. We reviewed the pertinent unclassified sections, 
related to contractor support, of operations plans for Iraq and the 
Balkans. We also discussed with deployed contractor employees their 
opinions of the extent of their responsibilities to continue to support 
military forces in crisis situations.

To assess the adequacy of guidance and oversight mechanisms in place to 
effectively manage contractors who support deployed forces we reviewed 
DOD's and its components' policies, regulations, and instructions that 
relate to the use of contractors that support deployed forces. We met 
with officials at all levels of command to gain an understanding of 
contracting and the contract management and oversight processes. At the 
locations we visited, we asked officials their opinions of the 
effectiveness of existing policy in helping them manage their 
contractor force and asked them for suggested areas of improvement. We 
also reviewed and discussed with them local policies and procedures for 
managing their contractors. We met with DOD's contract management 
officials as well as other military members to obtain their opinions of 
the quality of contractor-provided services and the quality of contract 
oversight. We also met with contractor representatives to discuss 
contract oversight and contract management from their perspective. 
Finally, we reviewed contracts that support deployed forces to assess 
the existence and adequacy of deployment language.

The DOD organizations we visited or contacted in the United States 
were:

Office of the Secretary of Defense:

* Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, 
and Logistics, Washington, D.C.

* Civilian Personnel Management Service, Arlington, Va.

Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff:

* J-4 Logistics, Washington, D.C.

Department of the Army:

* Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

* Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and 
Technology), Falls Church, Va.

* Office of the Judge Advocate General, Rosslyn, Va.

* Army Contracting Agency, Falls Church, Va.

* U.S. Army Forces Command, Headquarters, Ft McPherson, Ga.

* 3rd Army Headquarters, Ft McPherson, Ga.

* 4th Infantry Division, Ft. Hood Tex.

* Corps of Engineers, Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

* Corps of Engineers, Transatlantic Programs Center, Winchester, Va.

* Combined Arms Support Command, Ft. Lee, Va.

* Communications-Electronics Command, Ft. Monmouth, N.J.

* Training and Doctrine Command, Ft, Monroe, Va.

* Operations Support Command, Rock Island, Ill.

* Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, Program Office, Rock Island, 
Ill.

* Army Materiel Command, Alexandria, Va.

* Network Enterprise Technology Command, Ft. Huachuca, Ariz.

Department of the Navy:

* Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

* Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md.

* Naval Air Technical Data and Engineering Service Command, San Diego, 
Calif.

* Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C.

* Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif.

Department of the Air Force:

* Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, 
Rosslyn, Va.

* Air Force Materiel Command, Dayton, Ohio:

* F-117 Special Projects Office, Dayton, Ohio:

* Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency, Tilden Air Force Base, Fla.

Defense Agencies:

* Defense Logistics Agency, Ft. Belvoir, Va.

* Defense Energy Support Center, Ft. Belvoir, Va.

* Defense Contract Management Agency, Alexandria, Va.

* Defense Contract Audit Agency, Ft. Belvoir, Va.

The geographic combatant commands and component commands we visited or 
contacted were:

* U.S. Central Command,

* U.S. Army Forces Central Command:

* U.S. Naval Forces Central Command:

* U.S. Central Command Air Forces:

* U.S. Marine Forces Central Command:

* U.S. European Command,

* U.S. Army, Europe:

* U.S. Air Forces in Europe:

* U.S. Pacific Command:

* U.S. Army Pacific:

* Pacific Air Forces:

* Special Operations Command Pacific:

* U.S. Marine Forces Pacific:

* U.S. Pacific Fleet:

* Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet:

* Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet:

* Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet:

The overseas activities and contractors we visited, by country, were:

Bahrain:

* Naval Support Activity:

* Naval Regional Contracting Center:

* USS Cardinal, MHC 60:

Bosnia-Herzegovina:

* Eagle Base, U.S. Army:

* Task Force Eagle, Area Support Group Eagle:

* Defense Contract Management Agency:

* Eagle Base, Contractors:

* Mantech:

* Sprint:

* ITT:

Germany:

* Defense Contract Audit Agency, Wiesbaden:

* Defense Contract Management Agency, Stuttgart:

* Defense Energy Support Center, Wiesbaden:

* Defense Logistics Agency, Wiesbaden:

* Army Materiel Command Europe, Heidelberg:

Serbia and Montenegro Province of Kosovo:

* Camp Bondsteel, U.S. Army:

* Task Force Falcon, Area Support Group Falcon:

* Defense Contract Management Agency:

* Army Materiel Command:

* Camp Bondsteel, Contractors:

* TRW:

* Kellogg, Brown & Root Services:

* Premiere Technology Group:

* Engineering and Professional Services, Incorporated:

* Camp Monteith, U.S. Army:

* 1st Infantry Division:

Kuwait:

* Camp Doha, U.S. Army:

* U.S. Army Kuwait:

* Army Corps of Engineers:

* Army Materiel Command:

* Defense Contract Management Agency:

* Coalition Forces Land Component Command:

* Camp Doha, Contractors:

* KGL:

* Raytheon Aerospace:

* British Link Kuwait:

* CSA:

* Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base, U.S Air Force:

* 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing:

* Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base, Contractors:

* RMS:

* Dyncorp:

* Vinnell:

* ITT:

* Mutual Telecommunications Services:

* Ali Al Salem Air Base, U.S. Air Force:

* 386th Air Expeditionary Wing:

* Ali Al Salem Air Base, Contractors:

* Dyncorp:

* L3 Communications:

* TRW:

* General Atomics:

* Litton Integrated Systems:

* Anteon:

* RMS:

Qatar:

* U.S. Embassy, Doha, Qatar:

* Camp As Sayliyah, U.S. Army:

* U.S. Army Forces Central Command-Qatar:

* U.S. Army Materiel Command:

* Defense Contracting Audit Agency:

* Camp As Sayliyah, Contractors:

* ITT:

* Dyncorp:

* Stanley Associates:

* LESCO:

* Al Udeid Air Base, U.S. Air Force:

* 379th Air Expeditionary Wing:

* Air Force Civil Augmentation Program, Program Office:

* Al Udeid Air Base, Contractors:

* Dyncorp:

We conducted our review between August 2002 and April 2003 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

[End of section]

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense:

OFFICE OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE:

3000 DEFENSE PENTAGON WASHINGTON, DC 20301-3000:

ACQUISITION, TECHNOLOGY AND LOGISTICS:

Mr. Steve Sternlieb Assistant Director Defense Capabilities and 
Management U.S. General Accounting Office Washington, DC 20548:

JUN 16 2003:

Dear Mr. Sternlieb:

This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the GAO draft 
report GAO-03-695, "MILITARY OPERATIONS: Contractors Provide Vital 
Services to Deployed Forces but Are Not Adequately Addressed in DoD 
Plans", dated May 7, 2003, (GAO Code 350239).

While in general better Department-wide guidance needs to be provided 
addressing various issues related to contractor employees on the 
battlefield, I note that the lack of such guidance has not jeopardized 
the operation of any DoD mission in recent memory. In fact the draft 
report even notes that the shortcomings have not impeded DoD missions. 
For example, on pages 30-31, the report notes that many contracts did 
not include language clearly specifying that contractors may need to be 
deployed to hostile and austere locations to provide support to 
deployed forces, including support contracts for the 4THInfantry 
Division. Nevertheless, as the report notes, "this did not impede the 
division's deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom" and that contractor 
employees prepared to deploy in support of the 4tTHnfantry Division's 
deployment, including some whose contracts had either no deployment 
language or vague deployment language." Therefore, the benefits of any 
steps that provide greater guidance and obtain more information to 
ensure combatant commanders have a better picture of contractors on the 
battlefield must be weighed against the burdens and costs of such 
measures.

Please see the enclosed for more detailed comments. If you have any 
questions concerning this matter please contact Mr. William C. 
Timperley at 703-697-8336 or via e-mail at william.timperley@osd.mil.

Attachment: As stated:

Deidre A. Lee:

Director, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy:

Signed for Deidre A. Lee:

GAO DRAFT REPORT - DATED MAY 7, 2003 GAO CODE 350239/GAO-03-695:

"MILITARY OPERATIONS: Contractors Provide Vital Services to Deployed 
Forces but Are Not Adequately Addressed in DoD Plans":

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COMMENTS TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS:

RECOMMENDATION l: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the heads of DoD components to complete the first review of 
contracts to identify those providing mission essential services by the 
end of calendar year 2003. (Page 42/GAO Draft Report):

DOD RESPONSE: Partially concur. While such a review needs to be 
accomplished as required by DoD Instruction 3020.37, there may be 
problems that preclude completing such a review by the end of calendar 
year 2003, for several reasons. First, it is up to the Military 
Components to determine what services, equipment, or weapon systems are 
essential for the wartime mission. The Components define mission 
essential services, and these requirements may change with the crisis/
war DoD is engaging. Part of the definition of essential contractor 
services includes when "DoD Components may not have military or DoD 
civilian employees to perform these services immediately." This may be 
an ephemeral definition that can change in a relatively short period of 
time. Second, in numerous instances there are no electronic records of 
the contracts written for these services. These contracts are written 
by Contingency Contracting Officers (CCOs) in forward operating 
locations. Obtaining a listing of mission essential contracts will 
entail physically searching through manual records that may be stored 
in various locations. Finally, the problem is compounded when you 
address contracts written in CONUS, but supporting contingencies 
overseas. The majority of the CONUS-written contracts contain minimal 
language on deployments, and there may not be any record detailing 
whether or not the deployment occurred. A manual review of existing 
contracts will have to be completed, requirements validated, data 
manually gathered, and reported. Because the effort needed to obtain 
this information on contracts currently in place may outweigh the 
possible benefits, DoD will explore how best to conduct a review of 
contractor services supporting deployed forces, which may exclude some 
existing contracts. This flexibility is justified considering that the 
lack of the type of review recommended has not impeded military 
operations.

RECOMMENDATION 2: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) to 
develop procedures to monitor the implementation of DoD Directive 
3020.37. (Page 42/GAO Draft Report):

DOD RESPONSE: Concur. However, OUSD(P&R/CPP) notes that reference is 
made to pages 2, 3, 11, 12, 19, and 21 regarding strategic planning and 
integrating the contractor workforce in the total workforce. This issue 
was a subject of review in GAO Report 03-475 (and follow-up report 03-
690R) in February and March 2003. Our response remains as follows: 
"Non-concur.

The use of contractors is just another tool to accomplish the mission, 
not a separate workforce, with separate needs, to manage.":

RECOMMENDATION 3: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
develop DoD-wide guidance and doctrine on how to manage contractors who 
support deployed forces. The guidance should: (a) establish baseline 
policies for the use of contractors to support deployed forces, (b) 
delineate the roles and responsibilities of commanders regarding the 
management and oversight of contractors who support deployed forces, 
and (c) integrate other guidance and doctrine that may affect DoD 
responsibilities to contractors in deployed locations into a single 
document to assure that commanders are aware of all applicable 
policies. Additionally, GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Service Secretaries to develop procedures to assure 
implementation of the DoD guidance. (Page 43/GAO Draft Report):

DOD RESPONSE: Concur.

RECOMMENDATION 4: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
develop and require the use of standardized deployment language in 
contracts that support or may support deployed forces. The Defense 
Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement should be amended to require 
standard clauses in such contracts that are awarded by DoD and to 
address deployment in orders placed by DoD under other agencies' 
contracts. This language should address the need to deploy into and 
around the theater, required training, entitlements, force protection, 
and other deployment related issues. (Page 43/GAO Draft Report):

DOD RESPONSE: Concur.

RECOMMENDATION 5: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
develop a web-based training course for commanding officers and other 
senior leaders who are deploying to locations with contractor support. 
This website could provide information on the roles and 
responsibilities of the Defense Contract Management Agency and the 
contracting officer's representative and the role of the commander in 
the contracting process and the limits of his/her authority. In 
addition, this website could provide answers to frequently asked 
questions and provide links to DoD and service policy and guidance and 
other on-line training courses. Also, contracting officers should 
ensure that those individuals selected as contracting officer's 
representatives complete one of the established contracting officer's 
representative training courses before they assume their duties.	(Pages 
43-44/GAO Draft Report):

DOD RESPONSE: Partially Concur. DoD agrees that appropriate training 
will need to be developed as DoD develops Department-wide guidance. We 
will examine alternative training methods on how best to ensure 
commanding officers, senior leaders, and acquisition professionals are 
aware of DoD policies and guidance regarding the use of contractor 
employees that accompany deployed forces. Although web-based training 
may be an appropriate medium for such training, in some cases it may be 
more beneficial to incorporate training into already existing courses, 
including classroom courses for commanding officers.

RECOMMENDATION 6: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) to implement the 
changes to the Department Financial Management Regulations previously 
agreed to with these modifications: (1) the financial management 
regulations should specify that the biannual report include a synopsis 
of the services being provided and a list of contractor entitlements; 
(2) the report should include all contracts that directly support U.S. 
contingency operations including those funded by the Services base 
program accounts; and (3) the changes should be finalized by January 1, 
2004. (Page 44/GAO Draft Report):

DOD RESPONSE: Partially concur. The "DoD Financial Management 
Regulation" ("DoDFMR") will be updated to address the GAO 
recommendation. A draft of the proposed "DoDFMR" change is provided 
below:

230106. Elimination of Potential Duplicative Efforts. DoD Components 
utilizing funding provided from a transfer account like the Overseas 
Contingency Operations Transfer Fund (OCOTF) and the Defense Emergency 
Response Fund (DERF) appropriations are to forward to the executive 
agent for operations in the geographical area in which the contingency 
is being executed a biannual report outlining all existing and 
anticipated contracts and modifications to those contracts that 
directly support U.S. contingency operations. The biannual report shall 
include a synopsis of the services being provided. Furthermore, the 
executive agent for that area is to review all contracts to: (1) 
identify possible duplication of services, and (2) ensure that 
contractors receive only those services from the government to which 
they are contractually entitled. The executive agent is to take 
administrative action to ensure that duplicative services are not being 
purchased.

The portion of the recommendation requesting that the biannual report 
include a list of contractor entitlements and all contracts that 
directly support U.S. contingency operations, including those funded by 
the Services base program accounts, will be reviewed with the military 
departments to determine whether obtaining such information is cost-
effective. The lack of collecting such information has not jeopardized 
the operation of any DoD mission in recent memory. Therefore, the 
benefits of any steps that will be taken to obtain more information to 
ensure that combatant commanders have a more complete picture of 
contractors on the battlefield must be weighed against the burdens and 
costs of such measures. Other, less burdensome ways to ensure combatant 
commanders have all the necessary information for contractors that are 
supporting them need to be fully explored before pursuing more 
burdensome means, such as a costly centralized database.

[End of section]


FOOTNOTES

[1] Neither DOD nor the services have a single point that collects 
information on contracts to support deployed forces. As a result, DOD 
could provide us no information on the total cost of contractor support 
to deployed forces. However, based on the information and contracts we 
obtained during our review, we estimate that the costs of contractor 
support to deployed forces will exceed $4.5 billion for the period 
fiscal years 2000 through 2005. 

[2] The Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program contract was 
established by the Army in 1985 as a means to (1) preplan for the use 
of contractor support in contingencies or crises and (2) take advantage 
of existing civilian resources in the United States and overseas to 
augment active and reserve forces. 

[3] A host country national is an employee of a contractor who is a 
citizen of the country where the work is being preformed. 

[4] A third country national is an employee of a contractor who is 
neither a citizen of the United States nor the host country. 

[5] As of October 2002, the Army estimated that contractors outnumbered 
military members 2 to 1 in the Balkans. 

[6] In the active Army both contactors and soldiers maintain Apache and 
Blackhawk helicopters. 

[7] Intermediate level maintenance is generally responsible for repairs 
to aircraft components such as engines, avionics, and armaments as well 
as the helicopter airframe. In addition, intermediate level maintenance 
may also undertake some of the tasks the helicopter unit is normally 
responsible for such as major inspections. 

[8] These are military units that are in high demand since their unique 
capabilities make them essential for a wide range of military 
operations. However, there are relatively few of these units. Hence, 
both their rate and length of deployment tends to be longer than for 
other military units.

[9] According to DOD Instruction 3020.37, contractor services are 
considered essential when (1) DOD components may not have military or 
civilian employees to perform these services immediately or (2) the 
effectiveness of defense systems or operations may be seriously 
impaired and interruption is unacceptable when those services are not 
available immediately.

[10] DOD components include the Military departments, the Joint Staff, 
the Combatant Commands, and the Defense agencies.

[11] Audit Report, Office of the Inspector General, Department of 
Defense, Retention of Emergency-Essential Civilians Overseas During 
Hostilities, Report Number 89-026 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 7, 1988).

[12] Department of Defense Instruction 3020.37, Continuation of 
Essential DOD Contractor Services during Crises, Nov. 6, 1990 (Change 
1, Jan. 26, 1996).

[13] Audit Report, Office of the Inspector General, Department of 
Defense, Civilian Contractor Overseas Support During Hostilities, 
Report Number 91-105 (Washington, D.C.: June 26, 1991).

[14] The Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan provides guidance to the 
combatant commanders and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to accomplish tasks 
and missions based on current capabilities.

[15] At the time of our review these aircraft were located at Ramstein 
Air Base in Germany but could be deployed to the Balkans or Southwest 
Asia. During the 1991 Gulf War, these aircraft were deployed to Saudi 
Arabia. 

[16] We were able to review sections of a limited number of operations 
plans. Our review was restricted to those portions that address 
logistics support, including support by contractors.

[17] It is DOD policy that contractors providing essential services are 
expected to use all means at their disposal to continue to provide such 
services, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract 
during periods of crisis, until appropriately released or evacuated by 
military authority. 

[18] The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Doctrine for Mobilization 
Planning, Joint Publication 4-05 (Washington, D.C.: June 1995).

[19] Department of Defense Instruction 3020.37.

[20] U.S. General Accounting Office, DOD Personnel: DOD Actions Needed 
to Strengthen Civilian Human Capital Strategic Planning and Integration 
with Military Personnel and Sourcing Decisions, 
GAO-03-475 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 28, 2003).

[21] DOD's overall human capital strategy consists of three separate 
plans: one for civilians, one for military personnel, and one for 
quality of life issues for service members and their families.

[22] The Defense Science Board Task Force on Human Resources Strategy, 
February 2000.

[23] The 2000 National Academy of Public Administration, Civilian 
Workforce 2020: Strategies for Modernizing Human Resources Management 
in the Department of the Navy (Washington, D.C.: Aug. 18, 2000).

[24] U.S. General Accounting Office, DOD Personnel: DOD Comments on 
GAO's Report on DOD's Civilian Human Capital Strategic Planning, 
GAO-03-690R (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 18, 2003).

[25] Department of Defense Directive 2000.12, DOD Antiterrorism/Force 
Protection Program, Apr. 13, 1999. 

[26] Department of Defense Instruction 2000.16, DOD Antiterrorism 
Standards, June 14, 2001.

[27] DOD Instruction 3020.37 does not provide guidance on the use of 
contractors to support deployed forces or the government's obligations 
to deployed contractors. Rather, it focuses on essential services and 
how to ensure that these services will be available in a crisis. 

[28] Joint Chiefs of Staff, Doctrine for Logistics Planning of Joint 
Operations, Joint Publication 4-0 (Washington D.C.: June 1995).

[29] The Time-Phased Force and Deployment Data describes force 
requirements, how and when those forces are to be deployed, and the 
transportation assets needed to deploy them. 

[30] Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Doctrine for Operations in Nuclear, 
Biological, and Chemical (NBC) Environments, Joint Publication 3-11 
(Washington, D.C: July 2000).

[31] DOD Directive 4500.54, Official Temporary Duty Travel Abroad, May 
1991.

[32] Department of the Army Regulation 715.9, Contractors Accompanying 
the Force, October 1999.

[33] Department of the Army Field Manual 3-100.21, Contractors on the 
Battlefield, November 2002.

[34] Department of the Army Pamphlet 715-16, Contractor Deployment 
Guide, February 1998.

[35] http://www.amc.army.mil/amc/rda/default.htm.

[36] Air Force memorandum, USAF Guidance on Contractors in the Theater, 
(Unpublished: Feb. 8, 2001).

[37] Marine Corps Order 4200.32, Contractor Logistics Support for 
Ground Equipment, Ground Weapons Systems, Munitions, and Information 
Systems, December 2000.

[38] U.S. Army, Combined Arms Support Command, Acquisition Liaison 
Office, Systems Contractor Support of 4th Infantry Division. (Ft. Lee, 
Va.: Aug. 2001).

[39] Memorandum from the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, 
Logistics, and Technology), Contractor Systems Support During 
Contingency Operations, (Unpublished: Jan. 28, 2002).

[40] Memorandum from the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, 
Logistics, and Technology), Contractor Support Restrictions, 
(Unpublished: June 11, 2002).

[41] General Orders are permanent instructions, usually concerned with 
matters of policy or administration and issued in order form, that 
apply to all members of a command. Examples include orders restricting 
travel to or from a base and prohibitions on the use of alcohol.

[42] U.S. General Accounting Office, Contingency Operations: 
Opportunities to Improve the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, GAO/
NSIAD-97-63, (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 11, 1997) and U.S. General 
Accounting Office, Contingency Operations: Army Should Do More to 
Control Contract Costs in the Balkans ,GAO/NSIAD-00-225 (Washington, 
D.C.: Sept. 29, 2000).

[43] "Gulf War Syndrome" is a non-scientific label that has frequently 
been used to describe those veterans who fought in the 1991 Persian 
Gulf War who later developed unexplained illnesses often characterized 
by fatigue, joint pain, skin rash, memory loss, and/or diarrhea.

[44] U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Budget: Need to Strengthen 
Guidance and Oversight of Contingency Operations Costs, GAO-02-450 
(Washington, D.C.: May 21, 2002).

[45] The executive agent is the service designated by the regional 
combatant commander to provide life support to the forces in an area of 
operation.

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