While DHS has taken steps to improve controls over contracts valued at more than $300 million, it “did not always properly solicit, award, and manage” contracts under that threshold, an IG report has said.
It said that in fiscal 2016, DHS awarded $2.4 billion in contract actions below that amount; in a review of 29, accounting for more than $150 million, the IG found that components did not document their oversight in the procurement files for 18 valued at about $112 million. “This occurred because components lacked a comprehensive contract management process for maintaining contract files, and reviews conducted by procurement personnel did not ensure that contract personnel performed the required procurement processes,” the report said.
“Furthermore, components lost procurement documents, mismanaged contracts, and did not adhere to contract policy requirements. These problems resulted in misspent funds and impaired the government’s ability to take action when contractors did not comply with the procurements,” it said.
It added that files on two contracts worth nearly $5 million could not even be located, six procurement documents from four contracts valued at $9 million did not have authorizing signatures, one contracting officer exceeded the warrant authority by $12,500, and two firm-fixed-price contracts totaling above $2 million were not finalized.