Contract Management: Improvements Would Strengthen Controls and Reduce Risk
OIG-16-3: Jul 1, 2016
Tonya R. Ford
This is a publication by GAO's Inspector General that concerns internal GAO operations. This report addresses the extent to which GAO has established an effective framework of controls to guide its contract management process.
What OIG Found
GAO has established a contract management framework of policy and procedures that is generally consistent with federal acquisition regulations and internal control standards. Our review of electronic and hardcopy files for a nongeneralizable sample of 28 contracts active in fiscal year 2015 found sufficient documentation to substantiate performance of several key controls designed to ensure effective contract management. In addition, the acquisition staff responsible for the administration of the sampled contracts generally complied with GAO’s acquisition certification requirements. Our review also identified areas where improved guidance, documentation, and oversight were needed to strengthen controls and reduce risk. For example,
- Documentation to substantiate that key contract management controls—such as acquisition planning and price reviews of contractors’ proposals—had been adequately implemented was not maintained in the official contract files for several contracts reviewed.
- Timeframes for completing timely contract closeouts were not specified in GAO policy and procedures, and effective oversight of completed contracts to ensure they were properly closed was lacking. As a result, as of April 2016, GAO had identified 1,183 completed contracts awaiting closeout.
What OIG Recommends
We are making five recommendations for the Comptroller General to direct the Controller/Deputy Chief Financial Officer to implement additional guidance and monitor compliance with key control requirements to address contract closeout backlog and to update acquisition certification policy and procedures. GAO agreed with our recommendations, and has taken or initiated efforts to address them.