Two years after the Federal Air Administration's inspector general told the agency to strengthen oversight of spending related to an $859-million air traffic control contract, problems still remain.
In an audit report released last month, the OIG found that the FAA has completed seven of the 10 recommendations made in a December 2013 report on the Air Traffic Control Optimum Training Solution contract.
Related:Read the Report
The FAA awarded the $859 million contract to Raytheon in 2008 for training support in its efforts to hire 11,000 new air traffic controllers by 2021.The inspector general found two years ago that oversight of the contract was lacking, noting that the agency had spent $46 million in the first two years of the contract without the program hitting its training goals.
In December 2013, the inspector general made 10 recommendations to improve oversight of the ATCOTS, including cost assessment and resource management.
The FAA had closed 70 percent of the recommendations by 2015, but the OIG found it had not yet created a training plan to identify requirements for trainees, developed a resource plan to ensure current controllers would be able to teach sessions instead of contractors and developed a budget assessment to ensure it to would have the resources to complete training.
The OIG noted that the failure to fully implement the recommendations made for a flawed acquisition process when the agency entered into a new Controller Training Contract in March 2015.
"Consequently, FAA has awarded a new multimillion-dollar air traffic controller training contract without fully addressing foundational aspects of its controller training acquisition," the report said. "As a result, FAA lacks the knowledge necessary to effectively and transparently manage training costs, validate cost estimates and detect and address cost or performance risks on CTC, many of the same issues that compromised the success of the previous ATCOTS contract."
The audit also found that a recommendation to modify award fees meant to incentivize contractor performance was partially addressed by the FAA, but the award metrics still failed to motivate the contractor to cut down training time or "develop training innovations".
As a result, $25.6 million in award fees were paid out during the life of the contract with performance standards the inspector general said that did not meet the contract's goals.
The FAA responded by acknowledging the difficulties outlined in the 2013 ATCOTS audit and noted its efforts in the wake of that report.
With regards to the new CTC contract, H. Clayton Foushee, FAA's director of Audit and Evaluation, said in the agency's response that the new contract contained better mechanisms for managing training goals.
"By changing the contract type from the ATCOTS performance-based cost reimbursable type contract to an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity task order type of contract, the CTC should improve contract resource planning and management."
Of the remaining open recommendations, the FAA said they would be completed by no later than Jan. 31.