Open Competition for State Department Contracts | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Open Competition for State Department Contracts

Letters to Officials

The Honorable Ed Royce

Chairman

Committee on Foreign Affairs

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

The Honorable Eliot Engel

Ranking Member

Committee on Foreign Affairs

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

The Honorable Jason Chaffetz

Chairman

Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

The Honorable Elijah Cummings

Ranking Member

Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel (House Foreign Affairs Committee) & Chairman Chaffetz and Ranking Member Cummings (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee),

On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I am writing to express our concern over unwarranted delays in awarding a vital State Department contract. 

In 2014, the State Department sought to update the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs’ (INL) Worldwide Aviation Support Services (WASS) program and strengthen its management and operations.  The department determined that the incumbent contractor, DynCorp International (DynCorp), had performed so poorly in recent years in support of the WASS program that it took back the last year of the contract, which was set to expire in 2015. 

After the new contract was being opened up for competition and DynCorp learned that it was not going to qualify for the new contract, the company initiated a series of pre-award bid protests and litigation.    Since these protests have delayed a final award, the State Department has given three sole-source bridge contracts to DynCorp at a monthly cost of $33 million, beginning in September 2014, and at a total cost of almost $600 million.  The third contract expires on October 31, 2016.  If the State Department does not complete the contracting process by early July, it will have to give DynCorp a fourth bridge contract, which could last a full year and cost nearly $400 million, bringing the total to as much as $1 billion.

A July 2015 Department of State Office of Inspector General (IG) audit found that DynCorp had struggled to meet aircraft availability goals for the company’s support of INL because of an “insufficient number of trained and certified mechanics and difficulty obtaining spare parts and other supplies in a timely manner.”  This report is far from the first time that DynCorp has been cited for unsatisfactory performance.  The Department of Defense IG issued a report on May 13, 2014 that found DynCorp had been billing the government for positions for which employees were not qualified, and that numerous billings were not authorized in contracts, including labor, travel, and supply costs.  In 2011, DynCorp paid $7.7 million to settle allegations that it had submitted inflated claims to the State Department for construction in Iraq.   In 2007, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGAR) recommended that the government seek reimbursement from DynCorp for improperly authorized work directed by the Iraqi Minister of Interior, including the construction of an Olympic size swimming pool.

We very much appreciate the renewed oversight by your committee of federal government agencies and their actions over the past several years.  We urge you to review this matter and advise the State Department that it should quickly conclude its work and award a final INL WASS contract rather than granting another sole-source bridge contract.  We also encourage the committee to determine whether and how the contracting process may have been abused in this instance, and what reforms might be necessary to prevent any such practices from occurring in the future. 

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz

President, CCAGW

Issues Topics: 

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