DOD struggles with early warning

The Defense Department hasn't been including in its contracts provisions that alert officials early about problems, according to a memo.

Shay Assad, director of defense procurement, acquisition policy and strategic sourcing at DOD, wrote that auditors and regulators in DOD found contracting officers and program managers weren’t applying the earned value management (EVM) requirements, which measure progress and alert DOD to problems, to contracts, as regulations require.

The contracting officers and program managers failed to include EVM requirements in contracts, and, when they did, they inappropriately modified those requirements, Assad wrote. The officials didn’t follow policies and guidelines and also used contract incentives that countered the EVM objectives, he wrote in a memo issued Aug. 27.

DOD regulations require contracts worth $20 million or more to have mandatory EVM and data- reporting requirements.

“EVM is one of DOD’s and industry’s most useful program management tools, providing early warning of potential contract cost and schedule performance problems,” Assad wrote. “To be effective, EVM must be implemented in a disciplined manner.”

Program mangers are ultimately responsible for ensuring that statements of work and contract data list requirements have EVM provisions, he wrote.

At the same time, contracting officers can improve compliance by working closely with managers and EVM experts throughout the contracting process, he wrote. Contracting officers should consult with experts during source-selection process and collaborate in pre- and post-award conferences, he added.

Later in the acquisition process, the contracting officers need to carry out remedial actions if a contractor fails to comply with the requirements, he wrote.

The officers and program managers “must ensure that the EVM requirements are appropriately identified and incorporated into solicitations and contracts, and that they are executed properly,” he wrote.

About the Author

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

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.