The Department of Defense (DOD) uses contractors to meet many of its logistical and operational support needs. With the global war on terrorism, there has been a significant increase in deployment of contractor personnel to areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan. In its fiscal year 2007 report, the House Appropriations Committee directed GAO to examine the link between the growth in DOD's operation and maintenance costs and DOD's increased reliance on service contracts. GAO determined (1) the extent to which costs for selected contracts increased and the factors causing the increases, (2) the extent to which DOD provided oversight for selected contracts, and (3) the reasons for DOD's use of contractors to support contingency operations. To address these objectives, GAO reviewed a nonprobability sample of seven DOD contracts for services that provide vital support to contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. GAO reviewed contract requirements, funding documents and DOD guidance for these contracts and interviewed DOD and contractor personnel.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||1. To ensure that DOD is able to exercise effective oversight over the contracts we reviewed, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to develop a plan to adequately staff oversight positions with qualified personnel.|
|Department of Defense||2. To ensure that DOD is able to exercise effective oversight over the contracts we reviewed, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to take steps to determine why guidance for maintaining contract files is not consistently being followed and implement a corrective action plan.|
|Department of Defense||3. To ensure that DOD is able to exercise effective oversight over the contracts we reviewed, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to ensure that quality assurance principles are consistently implemented.|
|Department of Defense||4. The Secretary of Defense should direct each of the service secretaries to conduct a review of the contract administration functions that support contingency operations contracts to determine the prevalence of inadequate contract oversight and administration staffing levels and the extent to which guidance for maintaining contract files and quality assurance principles are not being consistently followed and take corrective actions as necessary.|