Report: DHS needs to tighten contracting practices

The Homeland Security Department has been lax in following basic contracting rules, according to a private consultant's report obtained by the Washington Post.

The confidential report, prepared by Acquisition Solutions Inc. of Oakton, Va., found widespread problems at the department's Office of Procurement Operations, including an inability to locate dozens of contract files and lack of basic documentation, the newspaper reported in an article today. The Washington Post owns Washington Technology.

"The inability to locate files and inconsistent file organization puts the government at risk in ensuring the contractor is fulfilling its contractual obligations and the government is meeting its contract administration responsibilities," the consultants wrote in their report.

The report evaluated more than $17 billion in spending by the procurement office in fiscal 2005.

Acquisition Solutions examined 72 contract files. Initially, the consultants could not locate 33 of the 72 contract files selected for the review, so they chose 33 others. Of the 72 contract files reviewed, only 14 were in excellent shape, the Washington Post said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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