Dangerously Blurring the Line: How the DoD Allows Contractors to Grade Themselves and Write Their Own Contract Terms
One of the most egregious actions in this report was to allow the contractors to write up the requirements of the follow-on contract and then allow them to bid and win the contract.
The Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General’s (IG) office recently found that the Marine Corp allowed their contactors for a vital troop protection system to act as government employees, including directing and evaluating government employees’ work, grading their own work and writing up requirements for the follow-on contract. The contractors then bid on those requirements and won multimillion-dollar contracts.
The IG issued a report this month with the mundane title, “Contract Management of Joint Logistics Integrator Services in Support of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles Needs Improvement.” The report points out, in glaring examples, how the Marine Corp allowed two companies to infiltrate and control two very important logistics and maintenance contracts.
The program where this abuse occurred could not be more crucial to the troops. The program does maintenance support and logistics for the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles program (MRAP). MRAP is a $17.6 billion program to build or modify military vehicles with a V-shaped hull to prevent or reduce troop injuries and death from IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). MRAP was a rushed program because it had the potential to save lives and prevent severe injury at a time when IEDs were wreaking havoc on American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan
From the report:
On May 2, 2007, the Secretary of Defense designated the MRAP program as the highest priority DoD acquisition program and stated that all options to accelerate the production and fielding of the MRAP capability to the theater should be identified, assessed and applied where feasible. To reduce the burden on units receiving MRAP vehicles, JPO [Joint Program Office] MRAP established a forward presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar and Kuwait. According to the Joint Supportability Plan, the JPO MRAP Forward includes personnel from the JPO, JLI [Joint Logistics Integrator] and MRAP vehicle original equipment manufacturers to form an integrated team to stand-up, coordinate and execute JPO MRAP operations in theater.
The two companies, Jacobs Technology and SAIC (Science Applications International Corp) received contracts worth $193 million and $285 million, respectively, to do this work. SAIC started out as a subcontractor in the Jacobs Technology contract and then won the bid for the follow-on contract. This contract work was provided in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait from 2007 to 2011 and the DoD provided only one government employee overseas to oversee the whole program.
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