GAO Raises Issues with Bridge Contracts

November 1, 2015

‘Bridge Contracts’ Risk Overpayments

Source: Government Executive, Charles S. Clark, October 15, 2015

Temporary extensions of contracts without competitive bids, a common practice at many large agencies, may waste money and misallocate staff time if the government doesn’t come up with a precise definition for the process, a watchdog found.

So-called “bridge contracts” are not defined in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, the Government Accountability Office noted in a report released Thursday. It characterized such awards as the extension of an existing sole-source contract to an incumbent contractor to ensure there is no gap in services.

In a review of 73 such contracts at the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Justice, auditors found “limited or no insight into their use of bridge contracts, as bridge contracts were not defined or addressed in department-level guidance.” The exceptions GAO found are two DOD components, the Navy and the Defense Logistics Agency, which “have instituted definitions, policies, and procedures to manage and track their use.”.   Read More …

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