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Audit Report: OAS-M-14-10

August 18, 2014

Procurement of Support Service Contracts for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) leads the Department's efforts to develop and deliver market-driven solutions for energy-saving homes, buildings, and manufacturing; sustainable transportation; and renewable electricity generation. To accomplish its mission, EERE relies on support service contractors to supplement its Federal workforce, and provide program offices with technical, management, and maintenance and operations support. In Fiscal Year 2012, EERE's workforce consisted of approximately 470 support service contractor and 688 Federal positions. EERE's open support service contract obligations totaled over $628 million as of October 2013. We initiated this audit to determine whether EERE's support service procurement activities were managed effectively and efficiently.

Nothing came to our attention to indicate that controls were not in place over the management of EERE's support service procurement activities. In general, EERE's support service contracts included in our review were competitively awarded; consistently applied established labor rates for labor hours billed; and incurred costs in accordance with contract terms. However, we identified weaknesses in contract documentation that warrant management attention. Specifically, the Department's official contract files, which were maintained in the Strategic Integrated Procurement Enterprise System, did not contain a complete history of contractual actions, as required by Federal regulations. Also, the contracting officer representatives' administration files did not contain complete documentation of contracting actions as required for all four of the EERE support service contracts we reviewed. Finally, as part of our audit, we examined the circumstances surrounding two allegations we received regarding EERE procurement activities; however, we were not able to substantiate the allegations.

We made two recommendations to address the areas warranting management attention and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the procurement activities. Management concurred with the recommendations and identified actions to address them.

Topic: Management & Administration