IG: EPA faces acquisition workload issues

Officials say they've had no specific contract work unduly delayed or not awarded because of the current workload

The Environmental Protection Agency’s acquisition leaders will have trouble accommodating an increase in contracting work because they lack agencywide performance measures for acquisition staff members, according to a new report.

EPA’s Office of Acquisition Management doesn't track performance metrics, and officials need that information to modify employees' workloads in response to changing volumes and priorities, according to a report released Oct. 25 by the agency's inspector general.

EPA officials agreed to create overall performance measures, but they disagreed with another recommendation.


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The IG recommended instituting plans for dealing with potential problems related to balancing traditional activities with projects funded by the economic stimulus law.

However, EPA officials said no contract work had been unduly delayed or not awarded. They also said mandatory action plans would limit acquisition officials' options for striking an appropriate balance between regular contracts and those related to the stimulus law, according to a letter written in response to the report.

EPA has made stimulus law and grant awards a top priority, at the expense of non-Recovery Act work, the IG wrote. That could push activities that are not related to the stimulus law to the back burner, the report states.

EPA received $7.2 billion under the stimulus law and oversees $81.5 million in work, the report states. Although that represents 2 percent of all the agency's acquisition activities, managers have voiced concerns about the amount of work and the agency's ability to perform it with current staffing levels.

About the Author

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

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