TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, October 30, 2009

TIGTA: IRS Is Not Properly Monitoring $34b of Contracts

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration yesterday released Controls Over the Contracting Officer’s Technical Representatives Workforce Were Ineffective, Resulting in Significant Risks to the Government (2009-10-139):

The IRS must increase the effectiveness of its contract oversight, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) concluded in a report publicly released today.

During 2008, the IRS managed approximately 700 contracts with a total contract value of approximately $34 billion. These contracts were awarded by contracting officers who delegated their oversight authority to employees designated as contracting officer's technical representatives (COTR).

TIGTA found that the majority of the COTRs were not performing day-to-day contract oversight or physical receipt and acceptance of contract deliverables for the procurements to which they were assigned. Instead, these COTRs limited their involvement to administrative functions (i.e., documenting receipt of goods and services in IRS computer tracking systems) and relied on program office employees to determine whether the goods or services provided by the contractor were acceptable.

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Have these folks not heard of Project or Program management?

I work for a vendor contracted with a Fortune 100 high tech company, a company well known for having a very large cadre of outsourced workers. Each contract (we have several) has separate company empoyees to people manage and project manage, and if large enough, others to program manage this bigger ball. We joke with them (the employees) that eventually the only company employees will be those managing vendors. The point is it's highly efficient and cost effective, with our (vendor) success being the upmost goal of the managing employees, as their job depends on it.

It sounds like the problems at the IRS are top-down ownership responsibility issues.

Posted by: George | Oct 30, 2009 8:17:24 PM