OIG: U.S. Marshal Should Implement Formal Procedures Relating to Court Services Procurements

An OIG report found that the U.S. Marshals Service needs to implement formal procedures to ensure consistency with its procurement of Court Security Officer Services.

The audit focused on the USMS JSD contracts with private security companies to provide CSOs for 440 federal court facilities nationwide. In 2015, the Judicial Facility Security Program’s enacted budget for contracting CSOs totaled $373 million. It found that CSO procurement actions are completed in a timely and competitive manner, and market research practices are adequate to assess whether CSO services are commercially available, but a key procurement action, acquisition milestones, are not consistently documented in the contract files. It also found that the USMS JSD did not include two important Federal Acquisition Regulation clauses related to time-and-material contracts in recent CSO services contracts that allow the government to audit costs associated with the contract and identify allowable costs and payment procedures.

The OIG also found that the USMS JSD is not evaluating the necessary accounting controls to ensure prospective contractors meet standards required in the Federal Acquisition Regulation and did not have formal written procedures for CSO services contract procurements during the period of the review that would help mitigate the risk of repeating current and past procurement issues.

The report recommends that the USMS JSD enhance its CSO services procurement process to ensure actual completion dates of all acquisition milestones are formally tracked and documented in the contract files, and document in the written acquisition plan the reasons why an FFP contract was not the most advantageous contract type to the government and include a discussion on what actions are planned to minimize the use of other than FFP contracts in future solicitations. It also recommends that USMC should work with JMD Procurement Staff to determine the appropriate inclusion of FAR clauses 52.215-2 and 52.216-7 in current and future T&M contracts. Its final recommendations are that USMS JSD implements a process that evaluates the accounting systems of entities that submit proposal for CSO services contracts to ensure that the contractor has the ability to accumulate, bill, and record costs in its accounting system at the contract level, and that it implements formal written standard operating procedures for CSO services contract procurements.

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