The MDA is expected to spend more $100 billion over the lifetime of the BMD program. The agency has come under criticism from the GAO for its lack of transparency and accountability.
“MDA’s flexible acquisition approach has limited the ability for DOD and congressional decision makers to measure MDA’s progress on cost, schedule, and testing…MDA’s baselines have been inadequate to measure progress and hold MDA accountable. However, GAO also reported that new MDA initiatives to improve baselines could help improve acquisition accountability.”
To help it improve financial accountability, the MDA is turning to 4 contractors:
The US Special Operations Command (US SOCOM) awarded 4 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts for the Global Battlestaff and Program Support Services (GBPS) program. The 4 contracts have a maximum value of $1.5 billion.
Under the GBPS contracts, the contractors will provide personnel, equipment, tools, materials, supervision, and other items necessary to support a broad range of US SOCOM mission areas.
In 2004 the GAO changed its name from the Government Accounting Office to the Government Accountability Office. Along with the name change came an aggressive approach to combat fraud, waste and abuse in the US government contracting process.
Probably the most prominent role the GAO plays in the contracting process is ruling on disputes over contract awards. Although the GAO is a part of Congress, it has the authority to rule on contracting awards by the Executive Branch. While the GAO can’t compel the Executive Branch, i.e. the Pentagon and individual services for defense contracts, to comply, it has the power of Congress backing it up.
This free-to-view DID Spotlight article takes a look at the GAO’s authority and process for reviewing defense contract protests, the effects its decisions have, charges of process abuse, alternative protest venues, some major defense contract decisions, and the future of the GAO bid protest review process.
The US Navy Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Norfolk’s Philadelphia Office awarded 3 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity multiple-award contract to provide accounting and financial management service to the Navy Office of Financial Operations.
The contracts will assist the office in implementing the Department of the Navy’s financial improvement program, which is design to improve the efficiency of the US Navy’s and USMC’s business processes and systems.
These contracts include a base ordering period with 4 one-year option periods. The maximum total value of all 3 contracts is $569.1 million.
The task order was awarded under the Defense Information System Agency’s $12.3 billion ENCORE II contract vehicle. It is also 1 of 3 DAI-related awards CACI has won with the Business Transformation Agency in the past 12 months, which total approximately $53 million.
While it might be more thrilling to imagine US Special Operations Forces getting critical intelligence about enemy movements through a laptop computer in the field, the bread and butter of US Department of Defense IT are mainframe computers. They have the computing power necessary to process the huge amount of information generated by the sprawling DoD bureaucracy.
One of the major suppliers of mainframe computers to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is Unisys. Since 1983, Unisys has been providing mainframe computer capacity for US Air Force logistics through DISA, the DoD agency that provides command, control and computing capabilities to the US services, other DoD agencies, and coalition partners.
On Feb 3/10, Unisys announced that it received a renewal of its contract to provide mainframe computer processing capacity and support services to DISA in support of USAF logistics and Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) financial activities. The contract is worth an estimated $187 million over 5 years.
Back in February 2006, “The Pentagon’s Broken Book-keeping” discussed the depth of the problems inherent in trying to audit that organization. It’s not that the US Department of Defense fails audits. The problem is more fundamental: it is not currently possible to audit it, and any comprehensive audit would be a first-ever event in modern times.
This topic can seem trivial, but the Pentagon’s accounting problems are not limited to issues of day to day functioning. They also go right to the heart of the American political system’s ability to properly evaluate and learn from procurement decisions over the long term.
On June 18/09, U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Dr. Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced bill S.1287, the Department of Defense Financial Accountability Act of 2009, which sets a progressive deadlines for the Department of Defense to undergo a complete audit of its financial statements. DID offers more information about the bill, and excerpts from a special supplement to the Pentagon’s FY 2010 budget documents…
The US Department of Defense has been facing serious accounting and finance-related issues for years. Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. is one of many consulting companies trying to help them change that, and in May 2006 they received a new blanket purchase agreement (BPA) under contract HQ-0423-06-A-0011 in support of the Defense Finance and Service (DFAS) agency transformation initiative. The contract covers program management, accounting, training, human resource services and Information Technology services in support of the Transformation Directorate at DFAS Indianapolis, IN. Booz consultants role will assist DFAS in planning and executing agency efforts and lead a team of vendors under the BPA through 21 contractor teaming arrangements. These services will be temporary support to closing DFAS locations, and are not anticipated to be required after agency transformation is complete.
Paradigm Technologies, Inc. (Paradigm) recently received a $15.7 million Task Order to provide Business and Financial Management Support Services to the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle Joint Program Office in Quantico, Virginia. The Task Order, awarded through the Naval Sea Systems Command’s SeaPort-e, includes a base year and 4 one-year options.
The MRAP Vehicle Program fits with a strong international trend, and seeks to replace vulnerable, flat-bottomed Hummers with vehicles designed from the ground up to resist land mine blasts. It is a Joint, Acquisition Category (ACAT) 1D program that is currently the number 1 Department of Defense priority program, with a DX priority rating for materials that is usually reserved for items like nuclear submarines. The program is currently in the procurement phase, and is valued at about $25 billion over Fiscal Years 2007 – 2009. The Joint Program Office (JPO) is led by Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Virginia.
Under this contract (N00178-05-D-4486-EH02), Paradigm is teamed with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) to provide comprehensive Business and Financial Management support to the MRAP JPO, in order to support the successful execution of the MRAP Vehicle program. This kind of support usually comes from professionals with domain experience – in this case, business and financial management support personnel with extensive ACAT 1 program experience. For further background context, see also the recent US GAO report covering the Pentagon’s use of contractors for acquisition assistance, and likely trends in this area.