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Highlights

The Department of Defense (DOD) is the federal government's largest purchaser of contractor-provided services, obligating more than $207 billion on services contracts in fiscal year 2009. DOD contract management has been on GAO's high-risk list since 1992, in part because of continued weaknesses in DOD's management and oversight of contracts for services. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 directed DOD to issue guidance providing for independent management reviews for services acquisitions. The Act required that the guidance provide a means to evaluate specific contracting issues and to address other issues, including identifying procedures for tracking recommendations and disseminating lessons learned. The Act also directed GAO to report on DOD's implementation of its guidance. GAO (1) assessed the extent to which DOD's guidance addressed the Act's requirements and how the guidance was implemented and (2) determined the status of actions taken by the military departments pursuant to DOD's guidance. GAO compared DOD's guidance with the Act's requirements; obtained data on the number of reviews conducted as of September 2009; and analyzed memoranda of 29 acquisitions valued at over $1 billion. In its written comments, DOD noted it planned to refine its processes to better share the lessons learned and best practices identified during peer reviews.

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