DOD policies to address contractor award concerns

The Defense Department is developing and implementing new policies to address contractor performance awards. The new rules will address longstanding congressional concerns about awards being paid despite poor performance, creating excessive waste.

In February, DOD delivered to Congress its report titled "Defense Acquisition Transformation." Section 804 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act requires DOD to give Congress biannual updates on the implementation of acquisition reform.

Regarding contract performance awards, DOD will soon issue operating instructions to support new policies added late last year to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation. According to the policies, DOD will raise the level of officials who determine new contract award fees, set percentage limits for different performance levels and prevent awards from being paid for work that is deemed unsatisfactory.

The Government Accountability Office reported recently that DOD has paid about $8 billion in award fees without regard to contractor performance and failed to appoint performance monitors in more than a third of the cases GAO reviewed.

Awards and incentives will be linked to different outcomes, such as cost, schedule or performance, depending on the program, said Ken Krieg, undersecretary of Defense for acquisitions, technology and logistics, at a Pentagon press conference March 14.

Also, DOD is examining the idea of a fixed-award fee pool that various contracts would compete for and developing an automated process for collecting award fee data, coming sometime this spring, according to the report.

DOD's acquisition workforce is aging and replacements are needed, Krieg said. Civilians comprise 85 percent of DOD 134,000 acquisition professionals and have an average age of 49. DOD needs a strategy to drive new hiring, which occurs primarily at the component level, he said.

Krieg expressed reservations about creating the position of a chief management officer for DOD, as GAO often calls for. Added bureaucracy is a chief concern. "We've got lots of undersecretaries," he said.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates must report his view on creating such a position to Congress in the coming months.

Josh Rogin writes for Federal Computer Week , an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Our databases track awards back to 2013. Read More

  • Navigating the trends and issues of 2016 Nick Wakeman

    In our latest WT Insider Report, we pull together our best advice, insights and reporting on the trends and issues that will shape the market in 2016 and beyond. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.