We reviewed contract documentation pertaining to pre-award, source selection, and contract award, and concluded that JCC-I/A complied with the FAR. Although the contracts were originally intended to satisfy PSYOP requirements, JCC-I/A incorporated PA into the solicitation. To ensure that PSYOP and PA could both coexist under one SOW, the focus of the solicitation was broadened to concentrate on media services, which created unintended consequences. Specifically, the contract language did not differentiate between the audiences for PSYOP and PA in accordance with established doctrine, creating the appearance that PSYOP was associated with a U.S. audience. Overall, the contracting process resulted in a contract vehicle that was not optimal and may not meet initial PSYOP requirements or user needs.
Management Comments on the Report and Our Response
U.S. Central Command Comments
Although not required to comment, the Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command provided comments on behalf of U.S. Central Command that incorporated comments from its subordinate commands (MNF-I, MNC-I, and JCC-I/A). Specifically, U.S. Central Command’s response included comments from the MNF-I IO Chief, MNC-I Deputy Chief of IO, and the Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting-Iraq (on behalf of JCC-I/A).
The Chief of Staff stated that while the SOW covered the whole spectrum of media services under the contract, each task order would identify specific requirements. He added that use of multiple award, IDIQ contracts ensure that proposed procurements are aligned with requirements and that oversight comes from IO practitioners appointing Contracting Officer’s Representatives with detailed Quality Assurance Surveillance Plans to manage the task orders. Such practices expedite the acquisition process and centralize procurement to avoid duplicity or redundancy. The Chief of Staff stated that the real issue was the inclusion of “U.S. audiences” in the SOW, since it is illegal to target U.S. audiences for PSYOP.
Although JCC-I/A awarded IDIQ contracts for media services in compliance with FAR pre-award, source selection, and contract award requirements, the contract language did not adequately differentiate the intended audiences for PA and PSYOP. Joint doctrine for PA states that PA can be disseminated to both U.S. and foreign audiences; however, joint doctrine for PSYOP states that PSYOP can only be disseminated to a foreign audience. The inclusion of the U.S. as a strategic audience and PSYOP publications as guidance created the appearance that PSYOP were associated with a U.S. audience. Although the SOW was intended to be broad to conform to established PSYOP and PA doctrine, we believe that the contract should not be used beyond the $1 million contract minimum value because it does not set forth a solid basis for the award and execution of specific task orders.