DOD, Army Corps of Engineers falter on subcontracting metrics

GAO details shortcomings in agencies' monitoring of prime-contractor adherence to subcontracting plans

As the Pentagon and the Army Corps of Engineers awarded money to Gulf Coast small businesses in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, they failed to closely monitor whether contractors adhered to their subcontracting plans, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation requires contracting officials to check on how prime contractors are doling out their large contracts as planned, but officials with the Corps and the Defense Department could not show that they consistently scrutinized prime contractors, the Government Accountability Office concluded in its Aug. 17 report.

Subcontracting plans include a description of the types of work the prime contractor believes it’s likely to award to subcontractors and a percentage of total planned subcontracting dollars for small businesses.

The Corps and DOD were two of four agencies that awarded the most money in federal contracts for rebuilding efforts following Katrina and Rita—each a Category 5 storm and two of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded—both of which hit the coast in August and September of 2005. Gulf Coast small businesses directly received almost $2.9 billion in total federal contract funds awarded for recovery projects for Katrina and Rita between fiscal 2005 and 2009. But GAO could not get a complete picture of how much money was awarded to area small business via subcontracts.


Related stories:

OMB tightens reporting screws on subcontracts, executive pay

Administration alters reporting rules for stimulus money


In performing a review of the plans, GAO found the Corps and DOD could not provide reports on contractors’ subcontracting accomplishments on 13 of 43 construction contacts that included plans.

However, Linda Oliver, DOD’s acting small business director, wrote that GAO auditors didn’t ask for paper copies of the documents about monitoring efforts after not finding them in the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System. The Corps provided a number of paper copies of checkups on subcontracting plans afterward.

Even so, GAO reported that the Corps didn’t provide subcontracting accomplishment reports for 11 of its contracts and could not provide a reason for why information was unavailable for these contracts. In addition, DOD did not provide subcontracting information on 2 of the 14 construction contracts that GAO reviewed. DOD officials said that they could not find any paper or electronic subcontracting accomplishment reports after searching their retained records, according to GAO’s report.

GAO recommended officials ensure their contracting offices are checking subcontracting plans.

About the Author

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

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.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.