Defense Acquisitions:

Update on DOD's Efforts to Implement a Common Contractor Manpower Data System

GAO-14-491R: Published: May 19, 2014. Publicly Released: May 19, 2014.

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Timothy J. Dinapoli
(202) 512-4841
dinapolit@gao.gov

 

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What GAO Found

Thirty-two DOD components submitted inventories for fiscal year 2012, collectively reporting an estimated 670,000 contractor FTEs providing services to DOD with obligations totaling about $129 billion. Since our May 2013 report, DOD has taken additional steps to implement its November 2011 plan to collect contractor manpower data via a department-wide solution, but various challenges may hinder DOD’s efforts to having a common system and associated processes fully in place to support its fiscal year 2016 inventory. In October 2013, DOD fielded a system based on the Army’s Contractor Manpower Reporting Application (CMRA) system, to support the DOD components as it had previously done for the Air Force and Navy. Each of the four CMRA systems is independent, maintaining its own interface, but all are accessible via a common webpage. DOD is weighing options on how to further refine the current CMRA configuration. These options include maintaining the four independent CMRA systems or developing a single, unified system. Further, DOD is determining the business processes and rules needed to standardize the department’s approach to collecting and using inventory data. DOD officials noted that a key factor hindering resolution of these issues has been the lack of dedicated resources to develop and implement a common system and associated business rules.  In March 2014, DOD approved plans to establish an office to support these implementation efforts, but the office’s roles and responsibilities and how it will be staffed have not yet been fully determined.

Why GAO Did This Study

DOD is the federal government’s largest purchaser of contractor-provided services. It relies on contractors to perform functions as varied as professional and management support, information technology support, medical services, and weapon system and intelligence support. DOD reported about $187 billion in obligations for service contracts in fiscal year 2012. To help provide better insight into the number of contractor full-time equivalents (FTE) providing services to the department, Congress requires DOD to establish a data collection system and to annually compile, and for the military services and defense agencies to review an inventory of services contracted for or on behalf of DOD during the preceding fiscal year. Congress has also directed DOD to develop a data collection system that captures direct labor hours, among other things. DOD’s offices of the Comptroller, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness share responsibility for issuing guidance for these efforts. Congress has mandated GAO to report on DOD’s contractor inventory submissions for fiscal years 2011 through 2015. This report addresses the status of DOD’s efforts to implement a department-wide contractor manpower data collection system.

What GAO Recommends

GAO is not making any recommendations at this time but continues to believe that its 2011 recommendation that DOD develop a plan of action with timeframes and necessary resources continues to have merit and should be fully implemented. Such a plan would help facilitate the department’s stated intent of implementing a common data system and using contractor manpower data as part of workforce planning and budgeting decisions.to the department, Congress requires DOD to establish a data collection system and to annually compile, and for the military services and defense agencies to review an inventory of services contracted for or on behalf of DOD during the preceding fiscal year. Congress has also directed DOD to develop a data collection system that captures direct labor hours, among other things. DOD’s offices of the Comptroller, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness share responsibility for issuing guidance for these efforts. Congress has mandated GAO to report on DOD’s contractor inventory submissions for fiscal years 2011 through 2015. This report addresses the status of DOD’s efforts to implement a department-wide contractor manpower data collection system.

For more information, contact Timothy J. DiNapoli at (202) 512-4841 or at dinapolit@gao.gov.

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