Pentagon awarded veteran-owned contracts to illegitimate firms

AP

The Defense Department awarded millions of dollars in veteran-owned contracts to ineligible firms and made coding errors affecting billions of dollars more, according to an inspector general report.

The report, dated Feb. 29 and recently made public, said the department awarded six contracts for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, valued at about $1.9 million, to ineligible companies. In addition, the report said, Defense awarded 27 contracts, valued at about $340.3 million, to contractors that “potentially misstated their SDVOSB status.”

Finally, the department made coding errors when it entered these contracts into the federal procurement database. These errors, in turn, affected 137 contracts valued at about $1.3 billion, according to the report, which was picked up Monday by Federal News Radio.

Defense made two key errors that contributed to awarding ineligible contracts, Devon Hewitt, a partner at Protorae Law and a member of the American Legion's Small Business Task Force, told Federal News Radio. The first was the department failed to check the Central Contractor Registration database, which catalogs the eligibility of federal contractors prior to awarding the contracts.

Second, and according to Hewitt more significant, Defense relied heavily on its own self-verification process for contractors. The department’s inspector general recommended Defense adopt a new verification process similar to the Veterans Affairs Department, which has a separate authentication process for veteran-owned contractors -- and is, according to Federal News Radio, the only government agency that does not rely on self-verification.

Veterans Affairs’ verification process, however, has itself been hampered by complaints of delays, inconsistencies and a lack of thoroughness, according to Federal News Radio.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.