U.S. Army leaders have not consistently evaluated the efficiency and effectiveness of the department’s contracting operations, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has concluded.
To amend the situation, the GAO recommends developing metrics to assess contracting operations for timeliness, cost savings and contract quality; documenting rationales for key decisions; and establishing measurable objectives to assess the effects of organizational changes on contracting operations.
According to the GAO report, although the service’s leaders conduct regular departmentwide contracting reviews, they have been concentrating on efforts to obligate funds before they expire, assess competition rates and measure small business participation. Instead, they should be focusing on objective performance metrics, the report states. Without adequate metrics, Army leaders will not have the information needed to determine whether Army contracting operations are meeting the department’s goals, the report states.
Since 2012, Army leaders, including successive assistant secretaries of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, have acknowledged a need for improvements in contracting. Although they have taken positive intermittent steps, the GAO found that these leaders did not sustain the efforts or — alternately — provide a rationale for not doing so.
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