Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Defense Department Not Making Sufficient Progress in Resolving GAO Audit Findings

Late last month, the GAO (Government Accountability Office) sent a letter to the Defense Department highlighting 91 high priority recommendations that they had made in past years that the Department has not yet implemented or taken action on. Twenty of the 91 recommendations pertain to acquisition and contract management.

GAO noted that the Department has 86 major defense acquisition programs with an estimated total cost of $1.66 trillion (an increase of $54.7 billion since 2017). Inefficiencies built into the acquisition system have caused significant cost and scheduling overruns. GAO noted: "DoD has tried to overcome its legacy of negative cost and schedule outcomes among its major defense acquisition programs by requiring extensive documentation to support program strategies and plans, as well as other information . Over time, this has resulted in a bloated, time-consuming, and cumbersome process." One of the recommendations, heretofore ignored, aimed at finding the right balance between providing effective oversight and meeting the competing demands that such a process places on program management. Most contractors we know would heartily endorse any reduction in mandatory (and seemingly innocuous) reporting requirements. In fact, it is well known that many "reports" are never read.

Another high priority recommendation concerns the need for additional data to better manage and forecast service contract requirements. It seems that no one in the Department has a clear understanding of the numbers and cost of service contracts - people hired to augment Defense Department staffing. Nor do top officials even know what they do or whether the need that justified augmentation in the first place still exists or will continue to exist in future years. Consequently, the Department has no idea on how much to project for spending on service contracts in future years.

You can read more about all 20 high priority recommendations in the GAO report.

No comments:

Post a Comment