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Postal Service IT contract oversight deficient, says IG

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The Postal Services' Enterprise Technology Services Program, which was instituted in October 2009, competes the task orders of four IT services contracts and improves on USPS's non-competitive, predecessor the Preferred Portfolio Partnering program. However, a recent inspector general report questions USPS oversight of the program.

The Postal Service has no system to track and measure task order competition within the program, finds a July 18 inspector general report (.pdf).

"Personnel are required to code every ETS task order as competitive in the Contract Authoring Management System (CAMS) because the contracts were competitively awarded," write report authors. "However, the task orders may be further competed if it is in the best interests of the Postal Service."

Without tracking the Postal Service can't measure task order competition or identify areas for improvement, says the report.

Fifty-nine percent of task orders under the program in fiscal years 2011 and 2012--worth $71.5 million--had no justification document explaining why they were awarded without further competition, says the report. And 14 percent of justifications--totally $5.7 million--did not document a formal management review and approval process.

Of the 301 task orders and modifications not competed over fiscal years 2011 and 2012, 62 were $1 million or greater, says the report.

The Postal Service's competition advocate is required to advise contracting officers that plan a noncompetitive purchases of $1 million or greater, but because USPS tags all ETS task orders competitive, the CA does not review them, say report authors.

The IG notes that the Federal Acquisition Regulation requires "a justification for a proposed noncompetitive task order awarded under a multiple award contract be approved by the CA."

The IG says it's planning a more detailed review of CA oversight of non-competed task orders for a future audit.

Auditors recommend USPS begin tracking ETS task orders not further competed, ensure these non-competed task orders and modifications have justifications, require approval for non-competed task orders and require the CA to independently review justifications on ETS contracts totaling $1 million or more.

For more:
- download the report, SM-AR-13-003 (.pdf)

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