The Energy Department’s Bonneville Power Administration, which employs more contractors than federal workers out of its Portland, Ore., headquarters, has fallen short in monitoring the outsourcing of tasks that may be inherently governmental, a watchdog found.
In a Dec. 29 audit, acting Energy Department inspector general Rickey Hass—responding to a 2015 hotline complaint—said Bonneville’s administration of 1,921 active service contracts worth $2.6 billion in some cases “created prohibited personal services contracts by establishing improper employer/employee relationships with supplemental labor workers.”
Only one of several allegations in the hotline complaint was substantiated in the audit of a judgmental sample of 20 of the 3,117 contract workers. But “the issues we identified occurred, in part, because of problems with the manner in which Bonneville managed and implemented its supplemental labor category of contract workers, lack of a strategic workforce plan, insufficient management and oversight of its contractor workforce, and an inadequate procurement control environment,” the IG wrote.
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