DCAA’s auditing triage continues to draw criticism


The Defense Contract Audit Agency’s two-year-old effort to review fewer contracts and focus on high-dollar returns continues to attract critics.

A recent Pentagon inspector general’s report found problems with the newly reorganized DCAA’s execution of a bid to revamp its audit procedures to stress quality over quantity. The approach -- which involves raising by tenfold the dollar amounts that trigger detailed audits -- could leave as much as $250 million a year in unjustified costs unrecovered, the IG said. Specifically, the report said the Office of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy had not performed a “business case analysis” to support the decision to alter DCAA’s priorities in choosing contracts to review.

“Had DPAP evaluated rates of return across the DCAA audit portfolio, DPAP could have achieved the same results by redirecting DCAA resources from low-risk audits and services to higher risk areas of the portfolio,” the report said. It also said DCAA has failed to implement a risk-based planning process as recommended by the Business Board, and criticized a decision to turn over certain auditing duties to the Defense Contract Management Agency that DCMA was not prepared to reliably accomplish.

The IG recommended that DCAA return to its old thresholds for auditing until it has put in place a risk-based audit planning process, and that DCMA proceed with scheduled corrective actions.

DCAA managers, responding to a draft of the report, agreed only with one of the recommendations. They said the $250 million estimate of potentially lost savings was “overstated” by about half.

A group of specialists at Apogee Consulting Inc., who have long reported on DCAA’s management troubles as documented by the Government Accountability Office, published a critique in late November sounding an alarm about the IG report. “We’re not saying that these reports are so damning that the people called out by them should be fired,” the specialists wrote. “But we do believe that these reports are so damning that the people called out by them should consider resigning their positions, and letting more effective leaders take their turns in the batter’s box.”

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

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

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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