IG: DOD wasted money by placing orders with GSA

The Defense Department wasted more than $600,000 when it turned to the General Services Administration for help in placing orders on an Air Force task-order contract, according to a new report from DOD’s inspector general.

The IG said the officials should have sought assistance from DOD’s procurement officers, not GSA, for the orders placed under the Network-Centric Solutions (NetCents) contract.

“The use of GSA was not a best-business practice since options were available within DOD at a lower cost,” the IG wrote in the Oct. 25 report.

For the 91 orders the IG identified, DOD paid $607,000 in GSA fees -- money that could have been put to better use supporting warfighters, the IG wrote.

NetCents is an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract with a $9 billion order ceiling. The contract offers networking equipment and systems engineering integration and maintenance to the Air Force, DOD and other agencies.

“The Army, Navy and Air Force should take administrative action against the DOD customers that did not go through DOD procurement channels and wasted money,” the IG wrote.

The report urges DOD’s director of procurement and acquisition policy to require military services to explain why working with agencies outside the department is best for the government and demonstrate that the costs are reasonable.

GSA officials have said DOD’s acquisition workforce is too small for the department’s workload and that GSA can handle the common commercial products and services, thereby freeing DOD’s employees to focus on mission-critical areas.

The Commission on Army Acquisition and Program Management in Expeditionary Operations reached similar conclusions about DOD's workforce in a report released Nov. 1.

The commission's chairman, Jacques Gansler, former undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, recommended adding 400 soldiers and 1,000 civilians to the Army’s contracting workforce and 583 Army employees to fill positions at the Defense Contract Management Agency.

“First and most important is the people,” Gansler said during a press conference.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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