The company contracted to operate the U.S. Marshals Leavenworth Detention Center in Kansas did not address staffing deficiencies and other instances of contract noncompliance, failing to deal with discrepancies because of a lack of oversight from the USMS Contracting Officer’s Representative.

In an audit conducted by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Corrections Corporation of America, now known as CoreCivic, was found to have been awarded a sole-source contract by the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee in January 2007 despite a lack of certain language, supporting documentation and evidence of the OFDT competed the contract for best government value, as required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

Once selected from the limited pool, CoreCivic did not receive continuous performance monitoring, allowing the company to operate understaffed, leading to problems such as long-term use of mandatory overtime, which LDC personnel said led to lower morale, security concerns and fewer correctional officers available to escort medical staff and detainees to and from the health services unit.

Staffing issues were particularly acute in fall 2014 through spring 2015, when security posts would be closed and/or personnel would be assigned to posts instead of performing their normal job duties. At the same time, staff would sometimes be transferred to other CoreCivic facilities.

Deficiencies continued because available contract mechanisms, including price reductions, were not used to hold CoreCivic accountable. Additionally, contractor past performance evaluations were not entered into the governmentwide electronic evaluation reporting system, as required by the FAR, and there were no performance evaluation meetings as required by the contract. 

Finally, money for employee fringe benefits and improperly requested positions not funded through the contract were withheld or misappropriated, putting into question compliance with applicable labor standards for federal service contracts and the need to recover unallowable price adjustments.

The report makes 24 recommendations to assist USMS contractor operations, monitoring and oversight at Leavenworth Detention Center. These include examining and establishing acquisition procedures, developing monitoring and oversight training and inspection guidance, developing a document control system for quality assurance-related documentation, finalize policies for performance assessment reports and performance evaluation meetings, as well as other means for supporting audit manuals and mechanisms and assuring compliance. 

Additionally, it is recommended that programs and milestones be established to assure staffing issues and "sick account" funds are addressed and that contracts have provisions to assure maximum value, safety, security and compliance. 

The entire report can be viewed on the Justice OIG website.

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