DoD IG: Army should do better job with contractor evaluations

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on  Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

  • Gauging how well contractors do their job is an area where the Army could improve. In a new report, the Defense Department Office of Inspector General reviewed five of the branches five contracting offices which prepare contractor performance assessment reports. The IG found nearly half of the 56 PARs it reviewed were not completed within the required 120-day timeframe. Almost all did not have enough information to explain why contractors were given the ratings they got. The IG recommended Army officials update procedures for drafting PARs. (Department of Defense Office of Inspector General)
  • The military services have named the contractors they consider the cream of the crop, based on their past performance. The Superior Supplier program is meant to publicly recognize companies who’ve outperformed their peers based on the past three years of contract performance data, and it means DoD will discuss ways to reduce red tape on contracts they already hold. The Air Force said its best performers for 2016 included units of Lockheed Martin, BAE, Ball Corporation, CACI, Honeywell, L-3, Leidos, Orbital ATK, Rolls Royce and Sierra Nevada Corp. The Navy named business units of BAE, Boeing, Erapsco, GE, Leidos, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. The Army had not publicly released its list as of Monday evening. (Air Force)
  • House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said the Defense Department clearly needs another wartime account to pay for its extra expenses in 2017. Thornberry said DoD is already spending $6 billion in funds not in President Barack Obama’s budget request, with some coming from the President’s decision to keep more troops in Afghanistan than expected. The Defense Department said it is looking into the option of another wartime fund. (Federal News Radio)
  • Agencies looking to buy digital services can now receive some guidance on how to do it correctly. The General Services Administration launched its new portal TechFAR Hub. Administrator Denise Turner Roth said the portal will be a central location for digital services acquisition and advice from the U.S. Digital Service team to contracting people. (Federal News Radio)
  • The General Services Administration is struggling to oversee one of its largest sets of IT contractors under Schedule 70. A new inspector general report found resellers of IT products are often offering the same products at a huge price variances. The IG reviewed seven products and found the difference between the highest and lowest prices ranged from 25-88 percent Auditors also found a majority of the re-sellers weren’t selling enough to cover GSA’s cost to administer their schedule. The IG made three recommendations and GSA concurred with them all. (General Services Administration Office of Inspector General)
  • A proposed rule from NASA calls for contractors to keep better track of the agency’s property. The rule would require contractors holding at least $10 million of NASA’s property, plant, or equipment to give monthly reports to make sure contractor-held property is accurately accounted for in NASA’s financial statements. (Federal Register)
  • Two Virginia congressmen demand answers on why long-term care insurance premiums are skyrocketing. Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) sent a letter to the Office of Personnel Management, wondering why the premiums are going up by as much as 126 percent, and what can be done to prevent future spikes. (Federal News Radio)
  • The board that oversees the federal 401(k) is putting its customer service overhaul on the backburner. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is focusing on IT and cybersecurity in its five-year strategic plan. Implementation of ExPRESS, the consolidated customer service operation, will be put on pause, board members say. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Navy has a new director of its Center for Space Technology. John Schaub, who previously served as the senior executive in charge of the Spacecraft Engineering Department for the center, has taken over. NCST located at the Naval Research Laboratory, is charged with providing assistance in developing space systems to support naval missions. (Navy)

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