Saturday, November 9, 2013

Poor Contracting Practices at BLM

Straight from the Horse's Heart

SOURCE:                                                                              By
BLM BadgeA government employee who stepped into a contractor’s role is among the  targets of a report criticizing contracting practices at the Bureau of Land  Management.
The Interior Department office of inspector general says in a recently  released report,  dated Sept. 30, that a BLM project officer placed a request to modify a  contract, “in effect, representing the contractor.”
The project officer and the contracting officer involved had to be counseled  on proper contracting practices, the report says.  At the time of the report, the  BLM was finalizing guidelines to outline the responsibilities and limitations of  contracting officers and project officers.
The audit stemmed from the OIG’s prior discovery that BLM had made payments  for costs that exceeded the amount agreed to in a contract and also for costs  that the contractor incurred outside the period of performance.
Auditors found contract files that lacked evidence of market research, price  analyses, and whether invoices were reviewed before payments went out. In  response,  BLM says contracts are now subject to random reviews to check for  completeness.

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