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Highlights

The Departments of Defense (DOD) and State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have relied extensively on contractors to provide a range of services in Iraq and Afghanistan, but as GAO has previously reported, the agencies have faced challenges in obtaining sufficient information to plan and manage their use of contractors. As directed by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008, GAO analyzed DOD, State, and USAID data for Iraq and Afghanistan for FY 2008 and the first half of FY 2009 on the (1) status of agency efforts to track information on contracts and contractor personnel; (2) number of contractor personnel; (3) number of killed and wounded contractors; and (4) number and value of contracts and extent to which they were awarded competitively. GAO reviewed selected contracts and compared personnel data to other available sources to assess the reliability of agency-reported data.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. To ensure that the agencies and Congress have reliable information on contracts and contractor personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Secretaries of Defense and State and the USAID Administrator should jointly develop and execute a plan with associated time frames for their continued implementation of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2008 requirements, specifically (1) ensuring that the agencies' criteria for entering contracts and contractor personnel into SPOT are consistent with the NDAA for FY2008 and with the agencies' respective information needs for overseeing contracts and contractor personnel; (2) establishing uniform requirements on how contract numbers are to be entered into SPOT so that contract information can accurately be pulled from the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG) as agreed to in the memorandum of understanding (MOU); and (3) revising SPOT's reporting capabilities to ensure that they fulfill statutory requirements and agency information needs, such as those related to contractor personnel killed or wounded. In developing and executing this plan, the agencies may need to revisit their MOU to ensure consistency between the plan and what has previously been agreed to in the MOU.
Closed - Not Implemented
In providing comments on our 2009 report, the Department of Defense (DOD) did not agree with our recommendation that a joint plan with timeframes was needed to ensure implementation of the Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT) to fulfill statutory requirements. To date, no joint plan has been developed.
United States Agency for International Development 2. To ensure that the agencies and Congress have reliable information on contracts and contractor personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Secretaries of Defense and State and the USAID Administrator should jointly develop and execute a plan with associated time frames for their continued implementation of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2008 requirements, specifically (1) ensuring that the agencies' criteria for entering contracts and contractor personnel into SPOT are consistent with the NDAA for FY2008 and with the agencies' respective information needs for overseeing contracts and contractor personnel; (2) establishing uniform requirements on how contract numbers are to be entered into SPOT so that contract information can accurately be pulled from the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG) as agreed to in the memorandum of understanding (MOU); and (3) revising SPOT's reporting capabilities to ensure that they fulfill statutory requirements and agency information needs, such as those related to contractor personnel killed or wounded. In developing and executing this plan, the agencies may need to revisit their MOU to ensure consistency between the plan and what has previously been agreed to in the MOU.
Closed - Not Implemented
In providing comments on our 2009 report, USAID did not address our recommendation that a joint plan with timeframes was needed to ensure implementation of the Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT) to fulfill statutory requirements. To date, no joint plan has been developed.
Department of State 3. To ensure that the agencies and Congress have reliable information on contracts and contractor personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Secretaries of Defense and State and the USAID Administrator should jointly develop and execute a plan with associated time frames for their continued implementation of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2008 requirements, specifically (1) ensuring that the agencies' criteria for entering contracts and contractor personnel into SPOT are consistent with the NDAA for FY2008 and with the agencies' respective information needs for overseeing contracts and contractor personnel; (2) establishing uniform requirements on how contract numbers are to be entered into SPOT so that contract information can accurately be pulled from the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG) as agreed to in the memorandum of understanding (MOU); and (3) revising SPOT's reporting capabilities to ensure that they fulfill statutory requirements and agency information needs, such as those related to contractor personnel killed or wounded. In developing and executing this plan, the agencies may need to revisit their MOU to ensure consistency between the plan and what has previously been agreed to in the MOU.
Closed - Not Implemented
In providing comments on our 2009 report, State did not agree with our recommendation that a joint plan with timeframes was needed to ensure implementation of the Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT) to fulfill statutory requirements. To date, no joint plan has been developed.

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