Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Defense Contract Management Agency Gets its Own Hotline

Not to be outdone by its sibling DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency), DCMA (Defense  Contract Management Agency) has rolled out its own internal Hotline. Doesn't there seem to be a lot of redundancy here. The Inspector Generals (IGs) have their own hotlines. Contractors should be well aware of these since there are contractual requirements to post hotline posters in prominent locations (or on an employee website). DCAA established its own hotline a couple of years ago, encouraging auditors and outsiders to report matters relating to contract and procurement irregularities, cost/labor mischarging, defective pricing, defective parts, bid rigging, and bribery and acceptance of gratuities. Why are so many hotlines necessary?

DCMA states that their hotline is to enhance accountability practices and improve incident response times. They say that their hotline aligns with calls to improve government transparency. Really? Is DCMA going to make all of the hotline calls public? Don't think so since one of the tenants of a hotline is to ensure confidentiality. How then can DCMA's hotline improve government transparency, except perhaps in some esoteric way.

In introducing the Hotline to DCMA employees, the Agency stated:
Throughout our climate and government surveys and new channels of communication, there is a lot of talk about holding the government employees and contractors accountable for their actions. With the implementation of our DCMA  Hotline, we are providing an independent means for individuals to report allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse, or general administration issues and concerns, as well as other wrongdoings pertaining to programs, personnel and operations.
Hotlines are useful for identifying instances of fraud, waste, and abuse. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), tips were the most common detection method by a wide margin, accounting for 39 percent of cases. Internal audits were the second-most common at 16.5 percent. For organizations that maintain internal hotlines, schemes were detected through a tip in 47 percent of the cases. Without the hotline, only 28 percent of schemes were detected through tips.

DCMA suggests that its new hotline be used for such matters as (i) waste of funds, (ii) theft and abuse of government property, (iii) abuse of authority, (iv) conflicts of interest, (v) mismanagement, and (vi) a variety of personnel-related issues.

DCMA also states that employees can still refer matters relating to suspicions of contractor fraud, waste, and abuse to its FraudNet,

Read more about the DCMA Hotline here.

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