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Table 2: USAID’s Compliance Review with Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR) by the Office of Inspector General (OIG)

Date of Memo Value of Contract Name of Contract Awarded US Firm Awarded Non-compliance issue(s) noted Recommendation(s) by the OIG Response to Recommendation(s)
27.01.2004 $10.2m (18 months) Plus two optional years, a potential total cost of $31.3 m Iraq Airport Administration Contract SkyLink Air and Logistic Support (USA), Inc -There was no documentation in the contract files of market research performed to support the size and complexity of this acquisition -SkyLink USA’s incorporation status had lapsed before it was asked to participate in the bidding process (nb: this lapse was corrected several days before the final contract was signed) -USAID had not reviewed SkyLink USA’s newly implemented cost accounting system and provisional indirect cost rates -USAID had not determined if SkyLink USA needed a facilities clearance* Recommendation No.1: Before sponsoring SkyLink USA for a facilities clearance and modifying the airport administration contract to require one, the Asia & Near East Bureau should determine if there is a need for SkyLink USA to have a facilities clearance and take appropriate action when this decision is made The Office of Procurement and the Asia & Near East Bureau determined that there is not a justifiable need for SkyLink USA to have a facilities clearance. Therefore, final action has been taken on Recommendation No.1
27.01.2004 $4.8m (one year with no option years) Iraq Seaport Assessment and Operation Contract SSA Marine, formerly known as Stevedoring Services of America -USAID failed to comply with the need to document market research described in the negotiation memorandum -USAID changed the facilities clearance requirements of the Request for Proposals (RFP) during the procurement process Similar recommendation to the Airport Administration Contract. Also, 2 recommendations made to the Office of Procurement: 1) issue a policy directive to provide guidance to procurement officials on the requirements for documenting contractor facilities clearances during the procurement process, & 2) ensure that when facilities clearance requirements are part of an RFP, the decision to go forward or delete the requirement is made prior to selection The Office of Procurement has not yet developed specific procedures requiring contracting officers to verify, in the early stages of the procurement process, the facilities clearance level of the bidding contractor. USAID is still in the process of taking action on these recommendations
14.01.2004 $36.9m (one year plus 2 option years) Agriculture Reconstruction and Development Programme for Iraq Contract Development Alternatives, Incorporated (DAI) USAID complied with applicable federal regulations in making the award n/a n/a

Date of Memo Value of Contract Name of Contract Awarded US Firm Awarded Non-compliance issue(s) noted Recommendation(s) by the OIG Response to Recommendation(s)
17.10.2003 $43.8 m (cost-plus-fixed-fee completion type contract) Health System Strengthening in Post-Conflict Iraq Contract Abt Associates -USAID did not consult the General Councel for a legal opinion, as required by the FAR, before excluding a firm (out of two offerors) from the invitation to bid on the contract Recommendation No.1: USAID should use a checklist of contract procurement steps, which among other things, will ensure that it requests and obtains an opinion from it's Office of General Counsel on conflict of interest issues regarding potential bidders. Recommendation No.2: the Office of Procurement should obtain an opinion from USAID's Office of General Counsel, which specifies whether the firm providing personnel support services to USAID in Iraq should have been excluded from the invitation to compete for the Health System Strengthening in Post-Conflict Iraq Contract USAID concurred with the OIG that it had not obtained advise from the General Counsel, and would include a step to refer conflict of interest issues to the Counsel to help ensure compliance with the FAR. USAID subsequently obtained the required opinion from the General Counsel, who concluded that the firm was appropriately excluded from bidding on this contract. Final action has therefore been taken on Recommendation No.2
23.07.2003 $679,833,259 (cost-plus-fixed-fee type contract) Contract for Iraq Infrastructure Reconstruction (IIR) Bechtel National, Inc -USAID did not comply with Federal Regulations in providing notification to offerors who were not selected (FAR 15.503(b)(1)) -USAID did not comply with Federal Regulations in providing timely debriefings to all requesting offerors (FAR 15.506) -Pre-solicitation contacts with offerors were not documented (FAR 15.201), to maintain good business practice and provide further evidence of USAID's compliance with FAR 3.101-1 ("Standards of conduct - General") Recommendation made to USAID's Office of Procurement to develop administrative procedures to ensure that timely award notification and debriefings are performed in accordance with FAR requirements. Second Recommendation made to the Office of Procurement to issue an Agency-wide notice that would ensure that items discussed in pre-solicitation meetings with potential offerors are documented. -USAID, whilst admitting that it was late in providing the non-selected contractors with a debriefing, stated that the delay was a result of the urgency of getting the selected contractor working in Iraq. -USAID felt that documenting these meetings would place a burden on USAID personnel. The OIG maintain that records of such meetings would provide additional information to officials in the Office of Procurement as the award process progresses, and provide evidence of USAID's compliance with FAR.