Heat on contractors gets hotter
Government Accountability Office and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are keeping the heat on contractors
with reports claiming a lack of oversight by agencies and a drought of competition.
GAO calls its report, "More Dollars, Less Sense: Worsening Contracting Trends Under the Bush Administration." Spending with contractors topped $400 billion in fiscal 2006, up from about $377 billion in 2005. The report identifies more than half of that as work that was awarded without competition.
However, industry officials strongly disputed the reports findings, including the definition of non-competitive in a Washington Post article
on the committee hearing and GAO report. Many of the contracts cited came from large task order contracts, where the original rates were established in open competition but individual tasks may not have been competed. Other contracts also came for emergency spending in reaction to disasters where work needed to be expedited.
The Washington Post also unveiled an investigation
into a Homeland Security Department contract with Booz Allen Hamilton that grew from an original price tag of $2 million to $124 million. The work was from the early days of the formation of the department when it had little to no infrastructure, particularly in its procurement shop.
Booz Allen did not competed when the initial award was made or when the work expanded. The company has a chance to defend itself in the story. The company also won the work when DHS was able to hold an open competition.
I'll leave it to others to argue whether these reports accurately reflect what is going on, but one thing is for certain, the scrutiny is not going to stop.
The role of information technology is so central to government operations that the scrutiny of IT systems and services is only going to increase.
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jun 28, 2007 at 9:54 AM