GAO Finds Problems in Service Contract Inventories

The Office of Management and Budget and Congress could not meaningfully use several service contract lists from agencies to compare obligations among agencies or find spending trends, the Government Accountability Office has found.

GovExec reports GAO conducted an audit of the inventories as part of evaluation of the Obama administration’s effort to determine which functions are inherently governmental and which are better contracted out.

Of the 49 audited agencies, 48 filed required lists of service contracts covering professional management support, information technology support and medical support, totaling $126 billion in fiscal year 2011.

OMB and Congress could not use those lists because agencies did not have a complete universe of service contracts to consider for review, according to the report.

In the General Services Administration’s case, the agency underreported nearly $6.4 billion because it misinterpreted or did not follow OMB’s guidance on inventories, the report said.

GAO released an audit in April on the Pentagon’s use of military contractors, finding the Defense Department does not have a method to accurately track operating costs and personnel.

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