Improvements Could Be Made in FAA’s Award and Oversight of SE2020 Acquisition Program Task Orders
What We Looked At
The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is a multibillion-dollar system intended to modernize the Nation’s air traffic system. To support NextGen and non-NextGen initiatives, FAA awarded seven multiple-award contracts under the Systems Engineering 2020 (SE2020) portfolio. In this follow-up report to our 2012 audit of SE2020, we assessed whether the FAA’s actions for (1) awarding task orders and (2) overseeing the SE2020 acquisition program were sufficient to meet its program mission.
What We Found
FAA’s insufficient policies and guidance for awarding SE2020 task orders hindered the Agency’s efforts to fully achieve its mission. First, FAA awarded program management task orders and used high assessment fees to fund them—up to 10 percent—from January 2012 to September 2015. Second, while FAA has increased competition for new task orders, it has experienced challenges in competing follow-on task orders and has not updated its SE2020 program office’s task order award standard operating procedure to reflect its emphasis on competition. As a result of these weaknesses, the SE2020 contract did not achieve its level of expected use. Originally FAA estimated SE2020 would provide $7.1 billion in support services, but the Agency has since lowered its estimate to $1.2 billion.
FAA’s ineffective oversight and management of SE2020 limited its ability to achieve program goals. For example, FAA’s SE2020’s payment processes lacked sufficient oversight, causing delays in making invoice payments and recouping overpayments. Furthermore, the SE2020 program office lacks effective and up-to-date program management plans and a strong oversight framework and guidance for managing large multiple-award contracts. This lack of specific policy to manage multiple-award contracts such as the SE2020 program hinders FAA’s ability to provide effective oversight that ensures such contracts meet their intended goals.
FAA concurred with our 11 recommendations to improve its award, management, and oversight of the SE2020 program and other multiple-award contract vehicles. Based on FAA’s response, we consider all 11 recommendations resolved and open pending completion of planned actions.