EPA hit for delays on evaluating contractors

The Environmental Protection Agency has let many of its contracting officers delay filling out performance evaluations for contractors that received economic stimulus law money, according to a new report.

The problem occurred because EPA didn’t have a system to monitor whether contracting officers completed the evaluations on time, according to the EPA’s inspector general, who released the report today.

The officers are required to complete and document an evaluation within 95 business days after each 12-month cycle of a contract. On average, they completed the evaluations 109 business days late, according to the report. The IG said the annual evaluations help EPA weed out contractors that performed poorly.


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In addition, the officers didn't use the full range of information available to them, such as the information from technical and contracting offices. Furthermore, EPA didn’t always provide its contracting officers with certain important reports, including those generated by the Defense Contract Audit Agency and the IG's office, the report states.

Last July, EPA officials decided to obligate roughly $211 million in stimulus law funds. The Office of Management and Budget requires agencies to actively monitor contracts to make sure they’re running well.

The report recommends that EPA develop a system to check on contracting officers’ timeliness and keep various reports on contractors’ performance in an electronic database that is easy for contracting officers to use. EPA officials agreed with the recommendations.

About the Author

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

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