Agency Implementation of Cost Accounting Standards:

Generally Good but More Training Needed

PLRD-82-51: Published: Mar 24, 1982. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 1982.

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GAO examined how certain agencies are implementing cost accounting standards which must be observed in both existing and future negotiated national defense contracts.

The Departments of Defense and Energy and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have developed generally adequate internal organizations to implement the standards. In addition, interagency organizations have been established to ensure the necessary cooperation among the agencies in implementing the standards. While new standards are no longer being promulgated, continuing implementation problems require that some organizational structure be retained to resolve these problems, to provide guidance in the area of cost measurement, and to ensure a uniform approach toward the standards and cost measurement in general. Agencies have generally made the standards, rules, and regulations available to their field offices in a timely manner. However, GAO found much duplication in the distribution and reproduction of this material which could be eliminated by using a single page reference to the Code of Federal Regulations to publish the cost accounting standards requirements. Some agencies involved in the procurement process should improve their cost accounting standards training process. This training should be required of all procurement personnel who will be involved with national defense contracts, and advanced training should be made available to personnel designated as experts. The formal recognition of experts and the prescription of appropriate training programs are matters needing further attention. The quality of information in the federal procurement data bank needs improvement since it contains errors regarding cost accounting standards clauses.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOE states that it is in compliance with the recommendation. DOD does not agree with the recommendation. NASA concurs and only references appendix O in its Federal Acquisition Regulations supplements.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Administrator of NASA should eliminate appendix O of the Defense Acquisition Regulations or comparable agency procurement regulation appendixes and insert one page citing Title 4, Chapter III of the Code of Federal Regulations as a source of reference for the cost accounting standards. The need to reprint all of the standards in the relevant procurement regulations could thus be avoided.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOE states that it is in compliance with the recommendation. DOD does not agree with the recommendation. NASA concurs and only references appendix O in its Federal Acquisition Regulations supplements.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Administrator of NASA should eliminate appendix O of the Defense Acquisition Regulations or comparable agency procurement regulation appendixes and insert one page citing Title 4, Chapter III of the Code of Federal Regulations as a source of reference for the cost accounting standards. The need to reprint all of the standards in the relevant procurement regulations could thus be avoided.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOE states that it is in compliance with the recommendation. DOD does not agree with the recommendation. NASA concurs and only references appendix O in its Federal Acquisition Regulations supplements.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Administrator of NASA should eliminate appendix O of the Defense Acquisition Regulations or comparable agency procurement regulation appendixes and insert one page citing Title 4, Chapter III of the Code of Federal Regulations as a source of reference for the cost accounting standards. The need to reprint all of the standards in the relevant procurement regulations could thus be avoided.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Administrator of NASA should require cost accounting standards training as part of the entry-level training for all series GS 1102 contract management and procurement personnel who will be involved with national defense contracts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Administrator of NASA should require cost accounting standards training as part of the entry-level training for all series GS 1102 contract management and procurement personnel who will be involved with national defense contracts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Administrator of NASA should require cost accounting standards training as part of the entry-level training for all series GS 1102 contract management and procurement personnel who will be involved with national defense contracts.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information..

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Administrator of NASA should provide advanced training, such as a 2-week training course in cost accounting standards, to administrative contracting officers charged with the responsibility of dealing with cost accounting standards issues.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Administrator of NASA should provide advanced training, such as a 2-week training course in cost accounting standards, to administrative contracting officers charged with the responsibility of dealing with cost accounting standards issues.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  9. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Administrator of NASA should provide advanced training, such as a 2-week training course in cost accounting standards, to administrative contracting officers charged with the responsibility of dealing with cost accounting standards issues.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  10. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Administrator of NASA should strengthen their internal controls to increase the accuracy and reliability of contract data recorded on forms currently sent to the Federal Procurement Data Center.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  11. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Administrator of NASA should strengthen their internal controls to increase the accuracy and reliability of contract data recorded on forms currently sent to the Federal Procurement Data Center.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  12. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Defense and Energy and the Administrator of NASA should strengthen their internal controls to increase the accuracy and reliability of contract data recorded on forms currently sent to the Federal Procurement Data Center.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

 

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