Audit: DOD limits procurement competition

The Defense Department awarded numerous task orders without competition, and it failed to justify why officials went outside of the department for acquisition services, a new report found.

The DOD inspector general audited 98 task orders worth $33.2 million in commercial supplies purchased through the National Institutes of Health's Electronic Commodities Store III governmentwide acquisition contract. Of those orders, 95 failed to afford all contractors a chance to bid. And on 31 of the orders, contracting officers did not document their reasons for the award, the report states.

"Competition was limited, and DOD did not have assurance it received the best value when procuring goods," the IG concludes.

The IG also reviewed 28 other task orders for $697.6 million in services on NIH's Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 2 Innovations GWAC. The IG found that DOD program officials limited the amount of time contractors could bid on 24 of the orders.

What's more, officials allowed a contractor to perform an inherently governmental function for one task order.

"Skill and good judgment are required to effectively protect the public interest," the IG wrote.

The IG also wrote that DOD officials did not justify why it went outside DOD to make the purchases. The audit found that 48 contract actions had no justifications for going to NIH, and 62 actions had inadequate reasons for the decision.

The IG has been critical of going outside DOD for supplies. The IG said in October that the Air Force wasted $607,000 in fees by using the General Services Administration's services.

Matthew Weigelt writes for Federal Computer Week, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

About the Author

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

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