Acquisition

Navy facility to fix contract management problems

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Officials at the Naval Facilities Engineering Expeditionary Warfare Center in Port Hueneme, Calif., plan to address shortcomings that auditors found in the center’s managing of contracts post-award, according to a new report.

The Defense Department inspector general found contracting officer’s representatives (CORs), who oversee a contract’s performance on the contracting officer’s behalf, failed to do adequate surveillance on 18 task orders on a Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) multiple-award contract. Auditors reviewed 20 task orders, worth $100.2 million, according to the report released Oct. 27.

The audit found the CORs did not understand quality assurance surveillance plan (QASP) requirements. They also failed to do onsite inspections, document the contractor’s performance and note they had approved the deliverables. Auditors found $556,590 worth of unsupported payments, leading them to say the CORs did not review invoices.

The CORs told auditors that they were “not aware that a QASP was required, what a QASP was, or how it should be used,” according to the report.

Moreover, contracting officers misinterpreted the internal contract administration policy and put single CORs in charge of entire contracts rather than dividing them among task orders. That led to situations such as one case where one COR was in charge of 91 task orders with work being performed worldwide.

The acquisition director at the warfare center will work with other officials to correct their policies so contracting officers appoint a COR to each task order, instead of an entire contract. The director will also make sure task orders will have quality assurance plans, with metrics for measuring a contractor’s performance, clear responsibilities for CORs, and specifics on documenting inspections on deliverables.

The director will also require training before a COR, an alternate COR, and a Navy technical representative take over the post-award management of a task order, according to the report.

About the Author

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

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