Department of Energy:

Challenges to Implementing Contract Reform

RCED-94-150: Published: Mar 21, 1994. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 1994.

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GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) efforts to fundamentally reform its contracting practices and implement the Contract Reform Team's recommendations.

GAO found that: (1) DOE contracting weaknesses are significant and systemic; (2) the Contract Reform Team has made many recommendations to change DOE contracting procedures including using performance-based measures to evaluate contractors, providing added incentives to motivate contractor behavior, and reducing DOE reliance on cost contracts; (3) DOE needs to strengthen its contract administration and oversight skills, equip its staff with sufficient management and financial information systems, ensure that nonprofit contractors are held accountable, develop fee and profit policies that are consistent with results-oriented performance measures, require audited financial statements from its contractors, and establish an institutional entity to oversee DOE managers' implementation of the Reform Team's recommendations; and (4) DOE needs to develop an implementation strategy and overcome workforce and management information weaknesses so that the reforms can be successfully implemented.

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