Justification Needed on Sole Source Contracts

October 7, 2016

Justice Department Grantee Faulted for Sole Source Youth Mentoring Contracts

Source: Government Executive, Charles S. Clark, September 23, 2016

In allocating more than $200 million in grant money aimed at mentoring Indian tribal youth, Justice Department grantees over five years relied too much on sole-source contracts and provided lax enforcement of rules against contractor lobbying and conflicts of interest, a watchdog found.

The department’s Office of Justice Programs, as part of its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, awarded the Boys and Girls Clubs of America $201.6 million from 2008-2013 to administer national and tribal mentoring programs. The after-school clubs provide a “safe place, caring adult mentors, friendship and high-impact youth development programs,” mostly to American Indians at risk of joining gangs, as noted in a report released on Thursday by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General.

The Boys and Girls Clubs—the largest recipients of those grants—in turn sub-awarded 45 contracts to 14 vendors, totaling about $3.1 million.

“We identified significant contract management deficiencies and have questioned $2,962,932 of the award funds received by the Boys and Girls Clubs,” the auditors wrote. “The largest portion of these questioned costs relates to the Boys and Girls Clubs’ use of sole source contracts, which are contracts entered into without first conducting an open, free and fair contract competition.”

Though such contracts are permissible when necessary, most of the 45 contracts sub-awarded by the Boys and Girls Clubs on a sole source basis did not have the appropriate justification, the IG said.   READ MORE….

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