The Contract Authoring Management System (CAMS) is a web-based, commercial off–the-shelf application used by the Postal Service for documenting contract actions, such as task orders and modifications. CAMS supports contract creation, administration, and reporting through milestones, templates, notifications, and related controls. The U.S. Postal Service’s Supplying Principles and Practices and other supplemental guidance help instruct staffs’ use of CAMS.
What We Did
Our objective was to determine if the Postal Service has effective controls for maintaining accurate and complete data in CAMS; if there are manual controls within CAMS that can be automated; and if there are data options within CAMS that are not being utilized effectively.
What We Found
While the Postal Service had effective controls for maintaining accurate financial data in CAMS, controls for ensuring complete information were not effective. We reviewed 205 task orders related to 52 contract award files and found both the contract award files and task orders were missing one or more required supporting documents; and documentation for seven task orders were stored on an internal shared drive. The missing documents in CAMS resulted from policy ambiguity or insufficient oversight regarding which documents should be completed and included in the contract file. The extent to which contract files do not contain required documents or that required documents are not stored in CAMS threatens the efficacy of Postal Service contract administration and oversight.
We also found that while the Postal Service used data options effectively, opportunities to automate additional manual controls within CAMS existed. As of March 2023, the Postal Service has been surveying CAMS users twice a year to identify additional automation opportunities and help prioritize which items to develop. Therefore, we are not making a recommendation regarding this issue.
We recommended management update policies to define which documents are required and reinforce oversight requirements through communication and training; update policies to ensure required contract documents are stored in an applicable contract system; and implement a standardized process for all portfolios to ensure all required supporting documents for task order files are uploaded in CAMS.
USPS Proposed Resolution
Update policies to more clearly define which documents are required in the task orders files and reinforce oversight requirements through formal communication and mandatory trainings.
Update the Supplying Principles and Practices and supplemental guidance to ensure required contract documents are stored in the applicable contracting system.
Implement a standardized process for all portfolios to include a completed Contract Award File Review checklist, signed by the contracting officer, in the contract file to ensure all required supporting documents for task order files are uploaded in the Contract Authoring Management System.