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GAO Acquisition Policy Reports                                                            [Return to Policy Home Page]

Summary Description
GAO-06-66 Report on Performance Contract Fees.aspx
Improve the use of incentives in performance based contracts. GAO-06-66 is a report to the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate. GAO found that DOD gives its contractors the opportunity to earn billions of dollars through monetary incentives-known as award fees and incentive fees. While the fees are intended to motivate excellent contractor performance in areas deemed critical to an acquisition program's success, GAO recommends that DOD improve its use of fees by specifically tying them to acquisition outcomes in all new award- and incentive-fee contracts, maximizing contractors' motivation to perform, and collecting data to evaluate the effectiveness of fees. In its comments on a draft of this report, DOD concurred or partially concurred with all of the recommendations.
3/12/2015 7:43 PM
GAO-03-983 Contract Management - Civilian Agency Compliance with Revised Task and Delivery Order Regulations.aspx
GAO provides recommendations to specific agencies as a result of revised task and delivery order regulations. These recommendations relate to ensuring a fair opportunity process for vendors, describing the services or supplies needed, and in complying with capital planning requirements.
3/12/2015 7:43 PM
GAO-06-501 Contract Management - Service Contracting Trends and Challenges.aspx
GAO contract management document stating the challenges and trends of service contracting.
3/12/2015 7:43 PM
GAO-07-273 Defense Contracting - Improved Insight and Controls Needed Over DOD s Time-and-Materials Contracts.aspx
Report analyzes DOD's use of T&M contracts and improvements needed for accountability.
3/12/2015 7:43 PM
GAO-07-839 Defense Contract Management - DOD s Lack of Adherence to Key Contracting Principles.aspx
GAO reviewed DOD's cost plus award fee contract with KBR for Restore Iraqi Oil following DCAA's review that found $221 million in questionable contract costs.
3/12/2015 7:43 PM
GAO-08-360 Defense Contracting - Use of Contractors as Contract Specialists.aspx
Analyzes the Army's use of contractors as a large percentage of their contract specialist workforce and the implications that raises.
3/12/2015 7:43 PM
GAO-03-935 Contrct Management - High-Level Attention Needed to Transform DOD Services Acquisition.pdf
GAO-03-935 Contrct Management - High-Level Attention Needed to Transform DOD Services Acquisition
4/27/2017 3:38 PM
GAO-03-661 Improved Knowledge of DOD Service Contracts Could Reveal Significant Savings.pdf
GAO-03-661 Report to the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, Committee on Armed Services, US Senate.  Best Practices.  Improved Knowledge of DOD Service Contracts Could Reveal Significant Savings
4/27/2017 3:41 PM
GAO-12-681 SW Development Challenges in Applying Agile Methods 201207.pdf
GAO-12-681_SW Development Challenges in Applying Agile Methods 201207
4/28/2017 2:16 PM
GAO-B-302499 The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994  Review of fair opportunity procedures multiple award task.aspx
This letter to the Senate Finance Committee applies the fair opportunity procedures of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 to multiple award task order contracts, specifically as the Internal Revenue Service.
4/28/2017 2:23 PM
GAO-07-640R Defense Services Acquisition - Questions for the Record.aspx
GAO-07-640R  Defense Services Acquisition: Questions for the Record, March 26, 2007.
6/2/2017 1:10 PM
GAO-12-87 Report on Services Acquisitions.aspx
GAO recommends that OMB establish a deadline for its recent requirement that agencies develop procedures for services, including those that closely support inherently governmental functions, and include two FPDS-NG codes in guidance for agencies’ use of service contracts and in the cost savings initiative for management support services. OMB generally agreed with the recommendations.
GAO Report on Services Acquisitions
6/2/2017 1:34 PM
GAO-02-230 Taking a Strategic Approach Could Improve DOD's Acquisition of Services.pdf
GAO-02-230 Report to the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate. Best Practices.  Taking a Strategic Approach Could Improve DOD's Acquisition of Services.  January 2002
8/1/2017 10:28 AM
GAO-17-291 DoD Needs Better Information on Incentive Outcomes.pdf
Since 2010, the Department of Defense (DOD) has made changes to its regulations, policies, and guidance and taken other steps to improve its use of incentive contracts. DOD has promoted greater use of objective incentives—which measure contractor performance toward predetermined targets using a formula—through incentive fee contracts, partly to better motivate cost control. These changes are reflected in DOD’s increased use of incentive fee contracts and decreased use of award fee contracts, which involve fees paid based on a more subjective evaluation of contractor performance and have not always been linked to acquisition outcomes.
8/1/2017 11:57 AM
GAO-04-870 Using Spend Analysis to Help Agencies Take a More Strategic Approach to Procurement.aspx
Document on using Spend Analysis to help agencies take a more strategic approach to procurement
9/12/2017 8:25 AM
GAO-17-398 IGCE.pdf
Why GAO Did This Study
IGCEs are the government’s best estimate of a contract’s potential costs—an important tool for both program and contracting officials to provide information when planning for and awarding contracts. IGCEs are particularly critical for service contracts—accounting for more than $270 billion in government contract spending in fiscal year 2015—to ensure the costs associated with labor are fully understood.
GAO was asked to review federal agencies’ use of IGCEs. This report examines the extent to which (1) selected departments developed IGCEs for service contracts and (2) selected departments’ IGCEs were useful in supporting the acquisition planning process.
To conduct this work, GAO selected six departments that in fiscal year 2015, the most current data available, were among the top spenders on services or had a high percentage of spending on services. GAO reviewed a random non-generalizable sample of 76 service contracts, and compared IGCEs and related documentation with GAO’s cost estimating guide. GAO also conducted interviews with contracting and program officials.
1/30/2018 10:12 AM
GAO-18-237SP Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2017.aspx
Data concerning overall protest filings for FY17. Most prevalent reasons for sustaining protests during FY17 were: (1) unreasonable technical evaluation; (2) unreasonable past performance evaluation; (3) unreasonable cost or price evaluation; (4) inadequate documentation of the record; and (5) flawed selection decision.
6/20/2018 7:22 AM
GAO-16-325 Cloud Computing.aspx
Table 1: Key Practices for a Cloud Computing Service Level Agreement (SLA)
8/15/2018 1:31 PM
GAO-18-217 Opportunities Exist to Improve Practices for Developing Program Managers.aspx
Leading organizations use 10 key practices to train, mentor, retain, and ultimately select skilled program managers. GAO examins DoD's practices for developing program managers and alignment with these 10 practices.
9/17/2018 3:51 PM
GAO-05-179 Homeland Security Successes and Challenges in DHS s Efforts to Create an Effective Acquisition Organization.aspx
GAO-05-179 Successes and challenges in DHS's efforts to create an effective acquisition organization.
11/29/2018 8:48 AM
GAO-19-248SP GAO Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress for FY18.aspx
GAO's FY18 bid protest statistics and the most prevalent reasons for sustaining protests during the 2018 fiscal year.  Reasons were: (1) unreasonable technical evaluation; (2) unreasonable cost or price evaluation; (3) flawed selection decision.
11/29/2018 8:51 AM
GAO-02-1049 Guidance Needed for Using Performance Based Service Contracting.pdf
Provides relevant content today and a history of improvements of DoD Services Acquistion
12/27/2018 2:24 PM
GAO-19-102 Defense Health Care-- Additional Assessments Needed to Better Ensure an Efficient Total Workforce.aspx
The Senate Report 115-125 accompanying a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 contained a provision for GAO to review how DOD determines its mix of military, federal civilian, and contractor personnel.  GAO recommends that DOD, among other things, assess the suitability of federal civilians and contractors to provide operational medical care.
1/3/2019 10:52 AM
GAO-13-634 Goals and Associated Metrics Needed to Assess Progress in Improving [DOD] Service Acquisition.aspx
In June 2013, GAO recommended that DOD establish baseline data, specific goals for improving service acquisition, and associated metrics to assess its progress.
1/11/2019 10:56 AM
GAO-07-20 Tailored Approach Needed to Improve Service Acquisition Outcomes Nov 2006.aspx
GAO-07-20, Tailored Approach Needed to Improve Service Acquisition Outcomes, Nov 2006
1/11/2019 11:13 AM
GAO-07-385T Securing Stabilizing and Rebuilding Iraq - GAO Audit Approach and Findings.aspx
Securing, Stabilizing, and Rebuilding Iraq: GAO Audit Approach and Findings
1/11/2019 11:13 AM
GAO-07-1111T Federal Contracting - Use of Contractor Performance Information.aspx
Agencies are required to consider past performance in all negotiated procurements above the simplified acquisition threshold and in all procurements for commercial goods or services. GAO bid protest decisions illustrate some of the complexities of using past performance information as a predictor of future contractor success.
1/11/2019 11:13 AM
GAO-17-482 SRRBs.pdf
GAO 17-482 DEFENSE CONTRACTED SERVICES DOD Needs to Reassess Key Leadership Roles and Clarify Policies for Services Requirements Review Boards (SRRBs)  What the GAO found:
 - The Department of Defense (DOD) has not fully implemented the three key leadership positions—functional domain experts (FDE), component level leads (CLL), and senior services managers (SSM)—that were identified in DOD’s January 2016 instruction and which were to enable DOD to more strategically manage service acquisitions.
 - Services Requirements Review Boards were intended to prioritize and approve services in a comprehensive portfolio-based manner in order to achieve efficiencies, but the military commands GAO reviewed did not do so. Instead, commands largely leveraged existing contract review boards that occurred throughout the year and focused on approving individual contracts.
GAO recommends that DOD reassess the roles, responsibilities, authorities, and organizational placement of the three key leadership positions; and clarify policies concerning the purpose and timing of the Review Board process. DOD concurred with the recommendations.
1/11/2019 11:14 AM
GAO-18-330 DOD CONTRACTED SERVICES Long-Standing Issues Remain about Using Inventory for Management Decisions.aspx
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 amended existing requirements for DOD to annually collect data on contracted services and to compile and review an inventory of the functions performed by contractor personnel. This report addresses how DOD (1) collected data to create an inventory of fiscal year 2016 contracted services and (2) used the inventory to inform workforce planning, workforce mix, and budget decisions. GAO has reported on DOD’s inventory of contracted services since 2010.
1/11/2019 11:14 AM
GAO-19-165 Cross-Functional Reform Teams.aspx
GAO Report on Chief Management Office (CMO) business reform teams. Includes Service Contracts and Category Management Reform Group (Team).
1/18/2019 9:42 AM
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