Report: NIMA not complying with FAR

National Imagery and Mapping Agency procurement officials did not comply with the Federal Acquisition Regulation and other appropriate contracting policies and procedures in recently awarded professional and technical service contracts, according to a report from the Defense Department's inspector general.

From fiscal 2000 through fiscal 2002, NIMA awarded more than 1,900 service contracts totaling more than $1.3 billion in support of agency operations. In awarding those contracts, NIMA staff neglected to follow service contracting policies and procedures provided in the FAR and NIMA's own Acquisition Regulation Implementation, according to the June 6 IG report.

It is unclear what action, if any, may result from the IG report.

Under service contracts, vendors perform a specific service rather than produce a solution.

"Certainly you want to have reasonable justification in contract files for award decisions, though agencies should avoid documentation fetishes," said Steve Kelman, professor of public management at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy during the Clinton administration. "I wish, though, the IG had looked at whether or not the contracts delivered good results for the government. That's a more important question than how good the contracting paperwork was."

The report also found that NIMA awarded task orders without considering competition and historical data. "As a result, service contracts were not awarded in the most efficient and effective manner, and may have cost the department more money."

NIMA officials dispute that claim.

"NIMA concurs with the thrust of the DOD IG audit report that procurement files should contain more comprehensive documentation," agency spokeswoman Joan Mears wrote in an e-mail message. "We are pleased that the audit report had no findings that NIMA procurement actions were improper or inefficient."

The IG report recommends that NIMA develop criteria and a training program to maintain adequate and complete contract files. It also recommends that NIMA develop mandatory comprehensive acquisition training for all contract personnel as specified by federal requirements; implement management oversight strategies for service contracts under $30 million to ensure that contracts are awarded and administered to achieve intended results; and review the assignment of contract surveillance and adjust workloads and staffing to resolve any imbalances.

***

Mapping problems

Between May 2002 and March 2003, the Defense Department inspector general "judgmentally selected and reviewed" 86 contract actions, valued at $247.3 million, determining if there were problems. The following problems were identified:

* 85 independent government cost estimates were missing or inadequate.

* 77 technical evaluations were missing or inadequate.

* 55 price negotiation memorandums were missing or inadequate.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • Social network, census

    5 predictions for federal IT in 2017

    As the Trump team takes control, here's what the tech community can expect.

  • Rep. Gerald Connolly

    Connolly warns on workforce changes

    The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee's Government Operations panel warns that Congress will look to legislate changes to the federal workforce.

  • President Donald J. Trump delivers his inaugural address

    How will Trump lead on tech?

    The businessman turned reality star turned U.S. president clearly has mastered Twitter, but what will his administration mean for broader technology issues?

  • Login.gov moving ahead

    The bid to establish a single login for accessing government services is moving again on the last full day of the Obama presidency.

  • Shutterstock image (by Jirsak): customer care, relationship management, and leadership concept.

    Obama wraps up security clearance reforms

    In a last-minute executive order, President Obama institutes structural reforms to the security clearance process designed to create a more unified system across government agencies.

  • Shutterstock image: breached lock.

    What cyber can learn from counterterrorism

    The U.S. has to look at its experience in developing post-9/11 counterterrorism policies to inform efforts to formalize cybersecurity policies, says a senior official.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group