BACKGROUND:

The U.S. Postal Service’s Enterprise Technology Services Program consists of four competitively awarded contracts for information technology services. Implemented in October 2009, it provided the opportunity to further compete task orders among the suppliers. Competition, which allows comparisons of competing proposals and prices, is seen as a vital improvement to the previous program ʊ the Preferred Portfolio Partnering program, under which the task orders were not competed. Postal Service officials also implemented guidelines requiring written justifications when task orders are not further competed under the Enterprise Technology Services Program.

Our objectives were to assess competition for task orders and controls over task orders and associated modifications that were not competed.

WHAT THE OIG FOUND:

Compared to no competition under the Preferred Portfolio Partnering program, the Enterprise Technology Service program improved the Postal Service’s level of competition. Specifically, we determined that officials competed 37 percent of task orders during fiscal years 2011 and 2012. However, the Postal Service does not have a system to track and measure competition. All task orders are coded as competitive although some are not competed. Accurately tracking task orders would enable the Postal Service to correctly measure competition and identify areas for improvement.

Postal Service officials could also improve controls over the award of task orders and associated modifications that were not further competed. Specifically, 59 percent of these actions, totaling $71.5 million, did not have justification documenting why the task orders were awarded without further competition. Furthermore, officials did not document a formal management review and approval process for 14 percent of justifications, totaling $5.7 million. Finally, officials did not always document analyses of price and technical proposals, which consist of the contracting officer working with subject matter experts to ensure reasonable rates. However, management instituted corrective action to this issue in a prior report, so we are not making a recommendation.

WHAT THE OIG RECOMMENDED:

We recommended management track opportunities to increase competition; ensure awards not competed have justifications; and update guidelines for the requirement of management level review and approval of justifications. 

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