Report No. D-2009-091 (Project No. D2009-D000JA-0108.000)
July 31, 2009
Results in Brief: Information Operations Contracts in Iraq
What We Did
This audit was requested by the Commander, U.S. Central Command. We also performed this audit pursuant to Public Law 110-181, “The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008,” section 842, “Investigation of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Wartime Contracts and Contracting Processes in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Our objective was to determine whether a series of contracts for Information Operations awarded by Multi-National Force-Iraq (W91GDW-08-D- 4013, W91GDW-08-D-4014, W91GDW-08- D-4015, and W91GDW-08-D-4016) met Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements. We also determined whether this procurement satisfied user needs.
What We Found
The Joint Contracting Command-Iraq/ Afghanistan awarded indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts to four contractors in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation. However, the Joint Contracting Command-Iraq/Afghanistan combined psychological operations and public affairs requirements in one contract. Although we did not obtain any evidence that psychological operations were intended for a U.S. audience, the contract language did not clearly differentiate between psychological operations and public affairs, as required by doctrine, creating the appearance that psychological operations were associated with a U.S. audience. Overall, the contracting process resulted in a contract vehicle that was not optimal and may not meet initial psychological operations requirements or user needs. In addition, we determined that an internal control weakness exists in the oversight of the media
services contracts. Specifically, the Joint Contracting Command-Iraq/Afghanistan did not prepare a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan for these contracts, and our review of contract documentation did not find evidence that a Contracting Officer’s Representative was appointed.
What We Recommend
The Commander, Multi-National Force-Iraq should award task orders under these contracts to meet the contract minimum values, then allow these contracts to expire, and determine how ongoing requirements for Psychological Operations will be procured in the future.
To improve oversight of these contracts, the Commander, Joint Contracting Command- Iraq/Afghanistan should appoint a Contracting Officer’s Representative and prepare a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan. Additionally, the Commander, Joint Contracting Command- Iraq/Afghanistan should implement procedures to ensure a review is conducted of proposed psychological operations procurements by the Multi-National Force-Iraq Information Operations Division.
Management Comments and Our Response
The comments from the Multi-National Force- Iraq Information Operations Chief and the Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting- Iraq were responsive, and no additional comments are required. Although not required to respond, we also received comments from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and the U.S. Central Command. Please see the recommendations table on the back of this page.