Federal Manager's Daily Report

An audit of sole-source contract awards by the Interior Department has found that in 42 of the 80 contracts sampled, contracting officers “did not prepare adequate price reasonableness determinations.”

Those contracts accounted for more than $112 million of the $170 million involved in all of the contracts sampled by the department’s inspector general, and involved all four of the department’s components involved in the sample, a report said. Further, two contracts valued at nearly $49 million were awarded “without obtaining certified cost or pricing data from the contractors, as required” and sole-source decisions were not adequately documented in 11, worth more than $8 million.

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Also, of the 33 that were small business set-asides, contracting officers did not ensure that six, valued at above $8 million, complied with the limits on subcontracting under the Federal Acquisition Regulation, it said.

“As a result of the deficiencies we found, the DOI has a higher risk of not receiving the best products and services, as well as a higher risk of overpaying for products and services,” the report said.

It said that management’s response to its seven recommendations has been mixed and varies among the components examined.

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