GAO: DoD Must Improve Data Collection for Base Utility Services Contracts

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The Government Accountability Office has recommended that the Department of Defense improve its data collection procedures on contract awards for utility services supporting installations that the department has been privatizing since 1988.

GAO said in a report released Thursday that it evaluated 21 utility services contracts from fiscal years 2016 through 2018 and found that the DoD must provide complete data on “time to award” procedures.

The department must also create a repository of “lessons learned” in utility service awards management to help inform future programs and speed up the contracting process, the watchdog noted. According to the report, it took an average of four years for DoD to award all of the 21 utility support contracts during the FY16 to 18 period.

The DoD has since reported that it updated guidances, handbooks and templates in efforts to implement lessons learned from managing such contracts.

Without this repository, the department is “missing opportunities to collect and share lessons learned” to help public and private sector stakeholders in managing the remaining 580 utility systems slated for privatization, GAO said.

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