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Understaffed DCAA Faces Audit Backlog

Photo: David B. Gleason/Wikipedia

The Defense Contract Audit Agency faces an audit backlog and a staff shortage,  according to a report this week in Federal Times.

In 2006,  $110 billion had been spent by federal agencies on contracted work that had not yet been audited. By 2010, that number had grown to $405 billion.

But, in the same three-year period, Federal Times reported, DCAA’s staff grew by only 20 percent.

Kenneth Saccoccia, DCAA’s assistant director of policy and plans, told Federal Times most of the contracts that have still not been audited — about 20,000 — were awarded by the Defense Department and are related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Saccoccia said many of the contracts have been delayed “because of the resources.”

“We’ve dedicated those resources to higher-priority work, like forward-pricing work,” he said in an interview with Federal Times. Forward-pricing is an audit of a contract before it is finalized, which allows the government greater leverage in price negotiations.

But, as DCAA auditors work on breaking the previous years’ backlog, more recent contracts, needing the agency’s detailed once-over, are piling up.

And, while DCAA has hired about 500 workers over the past two years, experts say even with the new hires, making progress against the backlog will take time.

Meanwhile, DCAA Director Patrick Fitzgerald said recently his agency is increasingly focusing on the high-risk deals in its audit of contracts.

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