Between fiscal years 2003 and 2014, DHS and its components authorized more than 18,000 reimbursable work agreements with GSA, totaling $4.1 billion, but an IG review of 20 such arrangements raised issues with half of them.

Such arrangements involving GSA most commonly involve providing for repairs and alterations of government-owned or leased space. The actual cost obligations exceeded the originally authorized obligations in each of those years, from 18 to 79 percent.

“Components did not always provide evidence that statements of work were prepared and submitted to the GSA or that detailed cost estimates for the work to be performed were on file as required. Additionally, some components were not able to reconcile RWA expenditures with GSA’s records or provide evidence that unused funds were deobligated at closeout. This occurred because of limited policies, poor controls, and inconsistent oversight in DHS’ RWA process,” the report said

“As a result, DHS cannot ensure work performed by GSA was in accordance with expectations and plans. Components cannot determine whether the costs to complete the work are reasonable or valid, which may lead to unnecessary costs and funds that could have been put to better use,” it added.

It said management agreed with recommendations including periodically reviewing RWAs with GSA, ensuring component written policies address significant RWA requirements, and reviewing RWAs identified in the audit that did not meet requirements.