What GAO Found
The Department of Defense (DOD) relies on contractors to provide a wide array of services, including support for management, information technology, and weapon systems. DOD obligated about $190 billion on service acquisitions in fiscal year 2019 (see figure).
Department of Defense Obligations for Service Acquisitions by Military Department and Defense Agencies and Field Activities, Fiscal Year 2019
Since 2001, GAO has highlighted service acquisitions as an issue for oversight within the DOD Contract Management area in its High-Risk List. Among other things, the High-Risk List and GAO’s prior work have identified that:
- DOD’s service requirements reviews were narrowly focused on individual contracts rather than entire capability portfolios,
- DOD’s efforts to use its inventory of contracted services to inform management decisions were hindered by data collection issues, and
- DOD’s budget exhibits did not clearly identify service acquisitions.
In October 2020, DOD issued a report to Congress describing its current mechanisms and plans for managing and overseeing service contracts. GAO found that this report addresses some of the key issues identified in GAO’s High-Risk List, but does not address others.
Requirement reviews. The DOD report summarizes guidance the department issued in January 2020 that links requirements reviews to budget trade-offs, and clarifies the relationship between service acquisition management and category management activities. Category management is an Office of Management and Budget-led, government-wide initiative to reorganize government spending around fewer, larger contracts and use the government’s purchasing power to buy like a single enterprise. These efforts have the potential to improve how requirements reviews support budget trade-off decisions within and across capability portfolios.
Inventory of contracted services. The DOD report discusses the department’s recent transition to the government-wide system other federal agencies use to collect data for their inventories of contracted services, and explains that this transition is intended to reduce the burden of data collection for defense contractors and improve compliance. However, the report does not discuss how DOD plans to use this data to inform decision-making and workforce planning, the key issues GAO has identified in past work.
Future-year spending plans. The DOD report does not discuss our finding in a prior report that DOD could improve its ability to strategically manage service acquisitions by improving visibility on future budgetary requirements. Instead, DOD’s report states that DOD plans to address capability gaps in budget planning for service contracts in a separate effort in response to a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 that might address GAO’s recommendations. DOD officials told GAO they are working to better understand that provision before initiating their effort.
Why GAO Did This Study
The Senate report on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 included a provision for the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to the congressional defense committees on current mechanisms for overseeing defense service contracts, and for GAO to assess this report. DOD issued its report to Congress in the second week of October 2020. This GAO report assesses the extent to which that DOD report addresses service acquisition issues identified in GAO’s High-Risk List and other products.
GAO reviewed DOD’s report to Congress on defense service acquisitions and GAO’s past reports on defense service acquisitions, including GAO’s 2019 High-Risk List and 11 other products issued between 2011 and 2018. GAO collected and assessed additional documentation from DOD offices and military departments, and interviewed officials from these offices and departments to collect additional information about DOD plans to improve service acquisitions.
For more information, contact Timothy DiNapoli at (202) 512-4841 or DiNapoliT@gao.gov.
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- Judiciary Makes the Case for New JudgeshipsBy Sam NewsIn U.S CourtsJune 30, 2020The creation of new judgeships has not kept pace with the growth in case filings over three decades, producing “profound” negative effects for many courts across the country, U.S. District Judge Brian S. Miller told Congress today.[Read More…]
- Owner and Operator of India-Based Call Centers Sentenced to Prison for Scamming U.S. Victims out of Millions of DollarsBy Sam NewsNovember 30, 2020An Indian national was sentenced today to 20 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release in the Southern District of Texas for his role in operating and funding India-based call centers that defrauded U.S. victims out of millions of dollars between 2013 and 2016.[Read More…]
- Owner of New York Tax Preparation Business Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to File False ReturnsBy Sam NewsJuly 30, 2020A Queens, New York return preparer pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to defraud the United States by filing false returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.[Read More…]
- Removal Order Upheld Against Tennessee Man Who Served as Nazi Concentration Camp Guard During WWIIBy Sam NewsNovember 19, 2020The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has dismissed the appeal of Tennessee resident Friedrich Karl Berger, a German citizen who was ordered removed from the United States earlier this year on the basis of his service in Nazi Germany in 1945 as an armed guard of concentration camp prisoners in the Neuengamme Concentration Camp system (Neuengamme).[Read More…]
- Brooklyn Man Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISISBy Sam NewsAugust 10, 2020The Department of Justice announced that Zachary Clark, a/k/a “Umar Kabir,” a/k/a “Umar Shishani,” a/k/a “Abu Talha,” pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Clark pled guilty today in Manhattan federal court before U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald. Judge Buchwald is scheduled to sentence Clark on Feb. 9, 2021, at 12:00 p.m.[Read More…]
- Examining Facilitating Factors for Safe, Voluntary, and Sustained Post-Conflict Refugee Returns (RAND Corporation)By Sam NewsSeptember 27, 2020Bureau of Population, [Read More…]
- Togo’s National DayBy Sam NewsApril 27, 2021
- Global Entry for Indian CitizensBy Sam NewsSeptember 27, 2020How to Apply for Global [Read More…]
- Antigua and Barbuda Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020
- Texas Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Facilitate Adoptions from Uganda Through Bribery and FraudBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020U.S. Department of [Read More…]
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Linde By Sam NewsJanuary 29, 2021
- Estonian National DayBy Sam NewsFebruary 24, 2021
- Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Satellite Prepared for LaunchBy Sam NewsDecember 9, 2020The newest satellite to [Read More…]
- Statement from Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband and Michigan U.S. Attorneys on Michigan Supreme Court Ruling Striking Down Governor Whitmer’s Pandemic-Related OrdersBy Sam NewsOctober 3, 2020Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Eric Dreiband, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider for the Eastern District of Michigan, and U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge for the Western District of Michigan issued the following statements:[Read More…]
- Lithuania Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020
- Saint Lucia Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Exercise increased [Read More…]
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Brazilian Foreign Minister AraujoBy Sam NewsFebruary 11, 2021
- Former Investment Manager Charged in Scheme to Defraud Life Insurance CompanyBy Sam NewsDecember 3, 2020A former investment manager was charged in an indictment unsealed today for his alleged participation in a scheme to defraud a North Carolina-based life insurance company out of over $34 million.[Read More…]
- Developer Agrees to Mitigate Impacts to Streams and WetlandsBy Sam NewsJanuary 19, 2021A developer and his companies have agreed to effectuate $900,000 in compensatory mitigation, preserve undisturbed riparian areas, conduct erosion-control work on streams, and be subject to a prohibitory injunction to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) on property north of Houston, Texas, the Justice Department announced today.[Read More…]
- Mystery Solved: Bright Areas on Ceres Come From Salty Water BelowBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Data from NASA’s [Read More…]
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Omani Foreign Minister Al-Busaidi By Sam NewsFebruary 24, 2021
- Department of Justice Invests More than $295.8 Million in Grants to Improve Public Safety, Serve Crime Victims in American Indian and Alaska Native CommunitiesBy Sam NewsSeptember 30, 2020The Department of [Read More…]
- Justice Department Files Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Against Village of Hinsdale, Illinois Under Fair Housing ActBy Sam NewsNovember 24, 2020The Justice Department today filed a lawsuit against the Village of Hinsdale, Illinois, alleging disability discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act.[Read More…]
- Michigan Based Wire Fraud Conspiracy and Tax Offenses ChargedBy Sam NewsDecember 16, 2020A federal grand jury in Detroit, Michigan, returned an indictment today charging Michigan businessmen John Angelo from Royal Oak, Cory Justin Mann from West Bloomfield, Michael Daneshvar from Bingham Farms, Glenn Franklin from Harrison Township, and Brent Sitto, from Bloomfield Township with one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and further charging John Angelo and bookkeeper Rosina Angelo, also known as Rosina Caruvana, from Mountainside, New Jersey, with one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS. John Angelo and Rosina Angelo were also each charged with three counts of aiding in the preparation of a false tax return and Cory Mann was charged with two additional counts of aiding in the preparation of a false tax return.[Read More…]
- Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting with Romanian Foreign Minister AurescuBy Sam NewsOctober 19, 2020
- Report Detailing Government Efforts to Combat Robocalls Released to CongressBy Sam NewsOctober 27, 2020The Department of [Read More…]
- Financial Audit: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Funds’ 2020 and 2019 Financial StatementsBy Sam NewsFebruary 18, 2021GAO found (1) the financial statements of the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) and of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) Resolution Fund (FRF) as of and for the years ended December 31, 2020, and 2019, are presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; (2) although internal controls could be improved, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting relevant to the DIF and to the FRF as of December 31, 2020; and (3) with respect to the DIF and to the FRF, no reportable instances of noncompliance for 2020 with provisions of applicable laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements GAO tested. In commenting on a draft of this report, FDIC stated that it was pleased to receive unmodified opinions on the DIF's and the FRF's financial statements. In regard to the significant deficiency in internal control over contract payment review processes, FDIC stated that it began taking steps to address this issue and will work to enhance control activities and expand monitoring capabilities in this area. Further, FDIC stated that it recognizes the essential role a strong internal control program plays in an agency achieving its mission. FDIC added that its commitment to sound financial management has been and will remain a top priority. Section 17 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, as amended, requires GAO to audit the financial statements of the DIF and of the FRF annually. In addition, the Government Corporation Control Act requires that FDIC annually prepare and submit audited financial statements to Congress and authorizes GAO to audit the statements. This report responds to these requirements. For more information, contact James R. Dalkin at (202) 512-3133 or email@example.com.[Read More…]
- On the Occasion of St. Patrick’s DayBy Sam NewsMarch 17, 2021
- Florida Man Charged with Federal Hate CrimeBy Sam NewsMarch 18, 2021A Florida man was charged with federal hate crime in Ocala for setting fire to a church.[Read More…]
- U.S. Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance for the Tigray Crisis ResponseBy Sam NewsMarch 18, 2021
- Designation of Two Ansarallah Leaders in YemenBy Sam NewsMarch 2, 2021
- NASA Human Space Exploration: Significant Investments in Future Capabilities Require Strengthened Management OversightBy Sam NewsDecember 15, 2020The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) again delayed the planned launch date for Artemis I, the first uncrewed test flight involving three closely related human spaceflight programs—the Orion crew vehicle, Space Launch System (SLS), and Exploration Ground Systems (EGS). Together, these programs aim to continue human space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit. The most recent delay, to November 2021, resulted in part from manufacturing challenges and represents a 36-month slip since NASA established a schedule to measure performance in 2014. This new launch date does not account for the effects of COVID-19. According to NASA officials, COVID-19 delays and schedule risks will place pressure on NASA's ability to achieve this launch date. Development cost estimates for key programs also increased. The cost of the SLS program increased by 42.5 percent and the EGS program by 32.3 percent since 2014, for a combined increase of over $3 billion, bringing the total to $11.5 billion. NASA does not plan to complete revised estimates for Orion, which are tied to the second, crewed test flight (Artemis II) before spring 2021. Key Parts of Space Launch System Ready for Testing at Stennis Space Center NASA awarded billions of dollars in development and production contracts to support flights beyond Artemis I, but the flight schedule has changed frequently due to a lack of clear requirements and time frames for planned capability upgrades. Limited NASA oversight also places efforts to plan and execute future flights at risk of adverse outcomes, such as increased costs or delays. For example, NASA is committed to establishing cost and schedule performance baselines for these efforts, but it plans to do so too late in the acquisition process to be useful as an oversight tool. In addition, senior leaders do not receive consistent and comprehensive information at quarterly briefings on future efforts, such as a program to begin developing a more powerful upper stage for SLS. This is because current updates provided to NASA management focus primarily on the more short-term Artemis I and II flights. This approach places billions of dollars at risk of insufficient NASA oversight. NASA is pursuing an aggressive goal to return American astronauts to the surface of the Moon by the end of 2024. The success of NASA's plans hinges, in part, on two upcoming test flights. An uncrewed test flight and subsequent crewed test flight are intended to demonstrate the capability of a new launch vehicle, crew capsule, and ground systems. The House Committee on Appropriations included a provision in its 2017 report for GAO to continue to review NASA's human space exploration programs. This is the latest in a series of GAO reports addressing this topic. This report assesses (1) the progress the programs are making towards the first test flight, known as Artemis I, with respect to schedule and cost, and (2) the extent to which NASA's human space exploration programs are positioned to support the planned Artemis flight schedule beyond Artemis I. To do this work, GAO examined program cost and schedule reports, test plans, and contracts, and interviewed officials. GAO also assessed the extent to which the COVID-19 state of emergency has affected schedules for these programs. GAO is making two recommendations to NASA to establish baselines ahead of a key design review and improve internal reporting about capability upgrades for human space exploration programs beyond Artemis I. NASA concurred with the recommendations made in this report. For more information, contact William Russell at (202) 512-4841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.[Read More…]
- Secretary Pompeo’s Video Remarks at the Prague 5G Security Conference 2020By Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020
- Texan sentenced in CARES Act unemployment fraud schemeBy Sam NewsIn Justice NewsMay 4, 2021A 29-year-old Corpus [Read More…]
- United States Takes Action To Counter Iranian Support for al-Qa’idaBy Sam NewsJanuary 12, 2021