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United States Government Accountability Office GAO For Release on Delivery Expected at 2:30 p.m. EST Thursday, January 24, 2008 Testimony Before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittees, U.S. Senate MILITARY OPERATIONS Implementation of Existing Guidance and Other Actions Needed to Improve DOD's Oversight and Management of Contractors in Future Operations Statement of William M. Solis Director Defense Capabilities and Management GAO-08-436T January 24, 2008
    United States Government Accountability Office GAO TestimonyBefore the Committee on HomelandSecurity and Governmental AffairsSubcommittees, U.S. Senate MILITARY OPERATIONSImplementation of ExistingGuidance and Other ActionsNeeded to Improve DOD'sOversight and Managementof Contractors in FutureOperations Statement of William M. Solis DirectorDefense Capabilities and Management For Release on DeliveryExpected at 2:30 p.m. ESTThursday, January 24, 2008 GAO-08-436T  What GAO Found United States Government Accountability Office Why GAO Did This Study H ighlights Accountability Integrity Reliability   January 24, 2008   MILITARY OPERATIONS: Implementation of Exi s tin g Guidance and OtherAction s Needed to Improve DOD' s Over s i g ht andMana g ement of Contractor s in Future Operation s   Highlights ofGAO-08-436T, a report to theCommittee on Homeland Security andGovernmental Affairs Subcommittees,U.S. Senate The Department of Defense (DOD)relies extensively on contractors tosupport deployed forces forservices that range from food andhousing services to intelligenceanalysis. Since 1997, GAO hasreported on DOD’s shortcomings inmanaging and overseeing its use of contractor support. Part of thedifficulty attributed to theseshortcomings is that no one personor entity that made the decision tosend 129,000 contractors to Iraq.Rather, numerous DOD activitieswere involved, thus adding to thecomplexity of the problems whichGAO identified in its past work onthis topic. This testimony focuseson (1) the problems that DOD hasfaced in managing and overseeingits contractor support to deployedforces and (2) future challengesthat DOD will need to address toimprove its oversight andmanagement of contractors atdeployed locations. In addition, as you requested, we have developedseveral actions Congress may wishto consider requiring DOD to take.This testimony is based on previously issued GAO reports andtestimonies on DOD’s managementand oversight of contractor supportto deployed forces that focused primarily on U.S. efforts inSouthwest Asia. This work wasconducted in accordance withgenerally accepted governmentauditing standards. DOD leadership needs to ensure implementation of and compliance withexisting guidance to improve the department’s oversight and management of contractors supporting deployed forces. While DOD issued a comprehensiveguidance on contractor support to deployed forces in 2005, we found littleevidence that DOD components were implementing this and other guidance. As a result, several long-standing problems have hindered DOD’s managementand oversight of contractors at deployed locations, even in cases where DODand its components have developed guidance related to these problems.These problems include failure to follow planning guidance, an inadequatenumber of contract oversight and management personnel, failure tosystematically collect and distribute lessons learned, and lack of comprehensive training for contract oversight personnel and militarycommanders. Our previous work in this area has identified several instanceswhere poor oversight and management of contractors led to negativemonetary and operational impacts.Based on our past work, several challenges will need to be addressed by DODto improve the oversight and management of contractors supporting deployedforces in future operations and ensure warfighters are receiving the supportthey rely on in an effective and efficient manner. Those challenges include: (1)incorporating contractors as part of the total force, (2) determining the properbalance of contractors and military personnel in future contingencies andoperations, (3) clarifying how DOD will work with other government agenciesin future contingencies and operations, and (4) addressing the use and role of contractors into its plans to expand and transform the Army and the MarineCorps. To view the full product, including the scopeand methodology, click onGAO-08-436T.For more information, contact William M. Solisat (202) 512-8365 or solisw@gao.gov.    I am pleased to be here today to discuss a number of issues regarding theoversight and management of contingency contracting in hostile zones. As you know, the Department of Defense (DOD) relies extensively oncontractors for services that include communication services, interpreterswho accompany military patrols, base operations support (e.g., food andhousing), weapons systems maintenance, and intelligence analysis to provide support to our military operations in Southwest Asia. Our previouswork has highlighted long-standing problems regarding the oversight andmanagement of contractors supporting deployed forces and we continueto conduct work looking at various aspects of these problems. Many of the problems we see in Iraq and Afghanistan stem from these long-standing problems and need to be viewed in that context. Moreover, although DODestimated in its October 2007 report to Congress that 129,000 contractorssupport deployed forces in Iraq, no one person or organization made adecision to send 129,000 contractors to Iraq. Rather, the decision to sendcontractors to support forces in Iraq was made by numerous DODactivities both within and outside of Iraq. The scope and scale of contractsupport to deployed forces therefore contributes to the complexity of the problems we have identified in our past work on this topic.My testimony today will focus on (1) the problems that DOD has faced inmanaging and overseeing its contractor support to deployed forces and (2)future challenges that DOD will need to address to improve its oversightand management of contractors at deployed locations. In addition, as yourequested, we have developed several actions the Congress may wish toconsider requiring DOD to take.In preparing this testimony, we relied on previously issued GAO reportsand testimonies on DOD’s management and oversight of contractorsupport to deployed forces that focused primarily on our efforts inSouthwest Asia. This work was conducted in accordance with generallyaccepted government auditing standards. A list of GAO products used to prepare this testimony is located in appendix 1.DOD leadership needs to ensure implementation of and compliance withexisting guidance to improve the department’s oversight and managementof contractors supporting deployed forces. For example, DOD’s 2005issuance of comprehensive guidance on contractor support to deployedforces is a noteworthy improvement. However, we found little evidencethat DOD components were implementing this guidance or much of theadditional guidance addressing the management and oversight of contractors supporting deployed forces. As a result, several long-standing Summary Page 1 GAO-08-436T    challenges have hindered DOD’s management and oversight of contractorsat deployed locations, even in cases where DOD and its components havedeveloped guidance related to these challenges. Examples of problemsinclude failure to follow planning guidance, an inadequate number of contract oversight and management personnel, failure to systematicallycollect and distribute lessons learned, and lack of comprehensive trainingfor contract oversight personnel and military commanders. For example,we found that the Army did not follow its planning guidance whendeciding to use the Army’s Logistics Capabilities Augmentation Program(LOGCAP) in Iraq, resulting in the plan being revised seven times in lessthan 1 year. Moreover, too few contract oversight and management personnel were deployed to locations using contractor support. Havingtoo few contract oversight personnel results in surveillance not being performed sufficiently, and ultimately DOD not having reasonableassurance that contractors are meeting their contract requirementsefficiently and effectively. Although DOD policy requires the collectionand distribution of lessons learned to the maximum extent possible, our prior work found DOD lacks sufficient procedures to help ensure thatlessons learned are collected and shared. In addition, DOD has longrecognized the need to comprehensively train contract oversight personnel and military commanders; however, DOD does not routinelyincorporate information about contractor support for deployed forces inits pre-deployment training of military personnel. During the course of ourwork, we found examples where limited or no pre-deployment trainingcaused a variety of problems for military commanders in a deployedlocation, such as not being able to adequately plan for the use of contractors upon deployment, not knowing what services would be provided through contractors, or not being prepared to provide force protection. We have found several instances where poor oversight andmanagement of contractors has led to negative monetary and operationalimpacts.Based on our past work, several challenges will need to be addressed byDOD to improve the oversight and management of contractors supportingdeployed forces in future operations and ensure warfighters are receivingthe support they rely on in an effective and efficient manner. Thosechallenges include a number of broader issues, such as: (1) incorporatingcontractors as part of the total force, (2) determining the proper balanceof contractors and military personnel in future contingencies andoperations, (3) clarifying how DOD will work with other governmentagencies in future contingencies and operations, and (4) addressing theuse and role of contractors into its plans to expand and transform the Army and the Marine Corps. Page 2 GAO-08-436T
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