Contract Management: DOD Developed Draft Guidance for Operational Contract Support but Has Not Met All Legislative Requirements

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. military has long used contractors to provide supplies and services to deployed U.S. forces as well as for post-conflict support. The Department of Defense's (DOD) use of contractors has grown significantly to the extent that the force in Iraq is composed of approximately 143,000 military personnel and 149,000 DOD contractor personnel. Congress,GAO, and others have frequently reported on or expressed concerns about the long-standing challenges that DOD faces when managing operational contract support. These challenges include a failure to adequately plan for the use ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. November 20, 2008.

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. military has long used contractors to provide supplies and services to deployed U.S. forces as well as for post-conflict support. The Department of Defense's (DOD) use of contractors has grown significantly to the extent that the force in Iraq is composed of approximately 143,000 military personnel and 149,000 DOD contractor personnel. Congress,GAO, and others have frequently reported on or expressed concerns about the long-standing challenges that DOD faces when managing operational contract support. These challenges include a failure to adequately plan for the use of contractors, poorly defined or changing requirements, a lack of deployable contracting personnel with contingency contracting experience, and difficulties in coordinating contracts and contractor management across military services in joint contingency environments. Furthermore, as we have previously reported, DOD has not provided a sufficient number of trained contract oversight and management personnel in contingency operations, and visibility of contracting activities and contractors has been limited. As we have testified, problems associated with DOD's inability to overcome these challenges have resulted in higher costs, schedule delays, unmet goals, and negative operational impacts. To respond to these concerns, Congress enacted an amendment to title 10 of the U.S. Code adding section 2333, which directed the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop joint policies by April 2008 for requirements definition, contingency program management, and contingency contracting during combat and post-conflict operations. In January 2008, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, hereafter referred to as the NDAA FY08, amended section 2333 to add a new subparagraph directing that these joint policies provide for training of military personnel outside the acquisition workforce who are expected to have acquisition responsibilities including oversight of contracts or contractors during combat operations, post-conflict operations and contingency operations. Additionally, NDAA FY08 directed GAO to review DOD's joint policies and determine the extent to which those policies and the implementation of such policies comply with the requirements of section 2333 of title 10 of the U.S. Code. This report responds to congressional direction included in section 849 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (NDAA FY08). Our objectives were to determine the extent to which (1) DOD has complied with section 2333 of title 10 of the U.S. Code to develop joint policies for (a) requirements definition, (b) contingency program management, (c) contingency contracting, and (d) training for personnel outside the acquisition workforce; and (2) DOD has implemented these joint policies."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • November 20, 2008

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Contract Management: DOD Developed Draft Guidance for Operational Contract Support but Has Not Met All Legislative Requirements, report, November 20, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300507/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.