DOD lifts restrictions on Interior's acquisition services

The Defense Department lifted its restrictions on the Interior Department’s acquisition services after the DOD inspector general saw improvements, according to memos.

“The DOD IG noted improvements in multiple areas, including advance payments, and proper use of DOD funding,” Shay Assad, director of Defense procurement, acquisition policy and strategic sourcing, wrote March 27 to Nina Hatfield, deputy assistant secretary for business management and wildland fire at Interior.

“I have determined that it is necessary and in the interest of the Department of Defense to use” DOI’s Acquisition Services Directorate, Assad wrote.

The Acquisition Services Directorate was formerly called GovWorks.

DOD is a major customer of the directorate, accounting for 56 percent of the directorate’s contracting actions from October 2006 to February 2007, according to a DOD IG report.

Assad based the decision to allow purchasing again on a DOD IG memo sent March 14 to John Young Jr., undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

IG Claude Kicklighter wrote that the directorate had made substantial improvements to comply with Defense procurement and funding requirements, although problems linger.

He found that the directorate had stopped billing DOD in advance and using expired funds for purchases made for the department. It was changing its practice of funding multiple DOD contract actions from single funding documents. Kicklighter also found the directorate’s procedures of processing waivers on a temporary basis worked well, and it was keeping better records, he wrote.

There were still potential problems. The IG still found questionable competition practices and inadequate surveillance for purchases. But many of the problems related to furniture purchases, which the IG had identified in previous audits. Assad imposed restrictions on furniture purchases.

“Since the problems were isolated and the vast majority of contracting did follow [regulations], we recommend that you lift the restriction of DOD’s use of GovWorks,” Kicklighter wrote.

In May 2007, Assad restricted DOD’s purchases from the Interior Department’s assisted-acquisition services shop to $100,000 because the DOD IG found problems with its attempts to fix its contracting and funding processes.

Congress in the fiscal 2006 Defense Authorization Act required the DOD IG to review GovWorks, NASA and the Treasury Department to ensure the organizations were following federal procurement rules and laws. The IG audit revealed problems with GovWorks and recommended DOD stop using the service.

About the Author

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

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.