GAO finding bolsters Defense's GovWorks retreat

Obligation of Funds under an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity Contract

A Government Accountability Office decision that the Interior Department’s GovWorks assisted-acquisition service center violated procurement rules bolsters the Defense Department’s recent decision to severely curtail its use of GovWorks.

GAO found that DOD and the Southwest Branch of Interior’s National Business Center Acquisition Services Division mishandled an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract in 2003. Under the contract, DOD bought $1 million in services, but Interior charged only $45,000 to fiscal 2003 funding, putting both agencies in danger of violating the Antideficiency Act.

The act states that agencies may not use appropriated funds beyond their fiscal year.

“An agency must record an obligation against its appropriation at the time that it incurs a legal liability for payment from the appropriation,” GAO’s decision said.

This latest violation comes on the heels of DOD’s decision to stop using GovWorks for orders worth more than $100,000.

DOD officials said problems such as the one GAO pointed out were a major factor in their determination to stop using the assisted-acquisition service.

Interior officials say they have addressed most of DOD’s concerns.

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