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IG report scores DoD audit oversight of contractors

Mar. 8, 2013 - 05:32PM   |  
By SEAN REILLY   |   Comments
The Defense Contract Audit Agency's work consistently fell short of professional standards, according to a new Defense Department inspector general's report.
The Defense Contract Audit Agency's work consistently fell short of professional standards, according to a new Defense Department inspector general's report. (Air Force)

The Defense Contract Audit Agency’s work consistently fell short of professional standards, according to a new Defense Department inspector general’s report.

In a review of 50 DCAA reports issued in the first half of fiscal 2010, the inspector general found problems in 37, ranging from contractor meddling to poor documentation to ineffective supervision. DCAA should consider rescinding or amending some reports and reassess policies, procedures and training the IG report recommended.

The report is the latest in a series to question the competence of DCAA’s 4,700-strong workforce, but the long lag time drew an unusually heated reaction from the agency’s chief, Pat Fitzgerald, as well as Defense Department Comptroller Robert Hale. In a prepared statement released by DoD’s press office, Fitzgerald said the inspector general’s review “completely ignores the changes our employees have made in the last three years.”

“While the issues raised in the report are important, the time period of analysis doesn’t begin to account for the progress we’ve made,” Fitzgerald said. Hale echoed that criticism, saying in an accompanying statement that the IG report “clearly reflects old data and replicates findings” made by the Government Accountability Office in 2009.

Of the 50 reports reviewed, the IG flagged four instances of improper contractor behavior or involvement. In one examination, the company failed to provide a DCAA audit with a complete rundown on its government work. Despite that, the auditor failed to independently verify the contractor’s sales and contract information, the inspector general found.

In a separate instance, the auditor asked the contractor for comment on DCAA’s interpretation of a key piece of guidance used in reviewing the firm’s work.

In other instances, inexperienced auditors were handed complex assignments for which they were not prepared. And 28 examinations did not have the documentation to back up auditors’ conclusions, the IG found.

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