Sand, Maintenance and Money

Here's another glum contracting item from over there.

The Government Accountability Office has found problems with a contract for maintenance of military vehicles -- problems that auditors believe have serious possible consequences for both troops in Iraq and taxpayers here.

In a Jan. 22 letter to Congress, the GAO said that "while contractors provide valuable support to deployed forces, we have frequently reported that long-standing DOD contract management and oversight problems increase the opportunity for waste and make it more difficult for DOD to ensure that contractors are meeting contract requirements efficiently, effectively, and at a reasonable price."

The GAO's examination began last year, after the House Appropriations Committee asked auditors to look at maintenance costs and the Defense Department's growing reliance on service contracts. The GAO already issued one report about the use of service contracts here. Another full report is expected this year about the use of such arrangements for forces abroad.

An examination of the first task order of the Army's Global Maintenance and Supply Services contract turned up a variety of shortcomings, some of them costly. Army data show that "for five types of vehicles inspected by quality assurance personnel from July 2006 through May 2007, 18 to 31 percent of the equipment presented to the Army as ready for acceptance failed government inspection."

Another issue: "Our analysis of Army data found that since May 2005 an additional 188,000 hours were worked on equipment after the first failed government inspection, which translates into an additional cost of approximately $4.2 million."

By Robert O'Harrow |  January 25, 2008; 7:00 AM ET iraq
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$4.2 MM for almost 200,000 hours of work sounds like the best bargain in history at about $22 per hour. Or should this read $4.2 BB --- for a perhaps more typical DOD contractor rate of $22,000 per hour?!

Posted by: dave | January 31, 2008 11:24 AM

Whether it was $4.2 M or B. that was an ADDITIONAL cost.

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