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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Reader comments

Tue, Oct 30, 2012 Jaime Gracia Washington, DC

OIG offices could fill volumes of binders with similar reports. They probably have a template entitled "[Organization XXX] at the [Insert Agency Name] in [Insert Location] plan to address shortcomings that auditors found in the managing of contracts. " Training for CORs, and the accountability for contract management, is one of the weakest areas of government contracting. It seems that post-award is often forgotten, with contract awards being the center of focus on government initiatives. One COR managing dozens of contracts, often country or worldwide, is nothing new. It is either that scenario, or a COR who "dings" a contractor for deviating by a penny on an invoice, then being threatened for poor performance.

Tue, Oct 30, 2012 Ed Miami, F;

This looks like to me that the only problem is with the personnel hired (COR) who knows nothing per his/her job position requirements. Again this is where failure to find the right personnel ot oversee these Task Orders and the responsible party for hiring must have hired on of their friends into this position. When you have qualified personnel such as my self sitting around trying to find these positions it is always the "other kind" that is found. This would have never happened on my watch, but then again how can you get a job when only friends hire friends.

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