Wednesday, May 23, 2018

DCMA Criticized Over it Contract Administration Performance

Surely many contractors have had their issues with Government oversight from time to time. One of those oversight organizations is the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA). DCMA performs contract administration services for DoD and other Federal agencies and a limited number of foreign governments. Within DCMA is an IT (Information Technology) Directorate whose program managers, contracting officers representatives (CORs) contract specialists, and contracting officers are involved in awarding and administering DCMA IT service contracts. It seems that DCMA cannot effectively administer their own contracts.

The DoD Office of Inspector General (DoD-IG) recently issued an audit report on a review to determine with DCMA properly awarded and administered IT service contracts. The DoD-IG found several significant deficiencies. DCMA officials did not

  1. properly define requirements that included measurable performance standards for eight of 14 contracts in the audit universe
  2. develop an acquisition plan for one contract, and
  3. submit offers for Small Business Administration acceptances for two contracts awarded through the 8(a) set-aside program.
  4. DCMA officials used flexible ordering agreements to award 5 of the 14 contracts which violated relevant FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation) requirements.

According to the DoD-IG report, these problems occurred because DCMA officials did not ensure that contracts were developed in accordance with FAR and DCMA guidance, use multi-functional teams to plan and manage IT service requirements, and perform pre- or post-award peer reviews of contracts.

As a result, DCMA contracting officials acquired $56 million in IT services on contracts with poorly defined or nonexistent performance work statements that may not meet the performance needs required to successfully execute the DCMA mission.

In addition to finding problems in the contract awards, the DoD-IG found additional problems in the way that DCMA contracting officials administered IT service contract. Specifically, DCMA officials did not properly monitor contractor performance, accept IT services, approve invoices or use DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency) to approve interim invoices.

These administrative issues occurred because DCMA officials did not

  1. appoint CORs (Contracting Officer Representatives) in some cases
  2. properly train the CORs in most cases,
  3. develop QA surveillance plans in most cases and develop "adequate" plans in a few more cases.

As a result of these identified contract award and administration deficiencies, DCMA had no reasonable assurance that it received the $70 million in IT services it paid for.

The DoD-IG made several rather obvious recommendations that correlated to the audit findings. DCMA management concurred with the recommended corrective actions.

So the next time you feel put upon by over-aggressive contract oversight, take some solace in the fact that sometimes, the oversight agencies can't do things right themselves.

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