Regarding the future of the media services contracts, IO personnel from MNF-I and MNC-I stated that they plan to collect a group of small PSYOP projects and award them as task orders to meet the $250,000 minimum values for each contractor. Therefore, the U.S. Government will at least obtain something in return for the $1 million obligated. An MNF-I official stated that it’s likely that once the minimum values for each contractor are met, no additional task orders will be issued, the option years will not be executed, and the contracts will be allowed to expire. Subsequently, MNF-I should determine how ongoing requirements for PSYOP in Iraq will be procured in the future.
A JCC-I/A review of the contract files, conducted in November 2008, indicated that a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan had not been prepared. In addition, during our review of contract documentation, we did not find a Contracting Officer’s Representative appointment letter. These are internal control weaknesses in the oversight of the contracts. If task orders are awarded under these contracts, a Contracting Officer’s Representative should to be appointed and a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan should be developed.
The contracts, as currently structured, may not satisfy the needs of any of the parties involved in this procurement. MNF-I had an ongoing need for contract support for PSYOP, which was previously satisfied by a series of small contracts. There was no consensus among IO personnel in Iraq as to whether these contracts would have adequately met PSYOP requirements. While IO and PSYOP personnel were involved in the procurement process, senior IO personnel in Iraq noted that they had reservations about the contract throughout the process, but did not raise their concerns to anyone in their chain of command or at JCC-I/A. MNF-I and MNC-I officials stated that IO personnel need to be more forceful in the future when they have objections with the contracting process or when their requirements for PSYOP are not being adequately addressed. Had the contracting language been reviewed by a senior IO or PSYOP official, potential shortfalls could have been identified and addressed earlier in the contracting process.
JCC-I/A sought a vehicle they could use to consolidate several similar requirements into a larger and more manageable vehicle to ease contract administration burdens. However, the IDIQ contract for media services was halted shortly after award, causing MNF-I and MNC-I to extend some existing contracts. MNF-I and MNC-I officials stated that they plan to return to using a series of small contract vehicles to satisfy their PSYOP requirements. As a result, JCC-I/A did not end up with a more manageable vehicle, will not be able to use this contract vehicle as intended, and will likely continue administering a series of small contract vehicles for PSYOP.
In addition, an MNF-I PA official stated that after the contract was awarded, the command decided not to use it to satisfy the strategic communications management services requirement for PA purposes.