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Report: State Department Contracting Efficiency Impacted by Lack of Integrated IT Systems

OIG report on efficient


Report: State Department Contracting Efficiency Impacted by Lack of Integrated IT Systems

The Diplomatic Security Contracts Division of the Department of State does not have enough integrated financial management and procurement information technology systems to support efficient contracting, according to a report from the agency’s Office of Inspector General.

The unclassified report, released on July 22, states that staff members manually enter data on critical security services and supplies.

DSCD contracts for supplies and services include protection for employees and facilities within the State Department, new local guard posts overseas and armored vehicles used by embassies.

The manual work slows the division’s work and makes it difficult to follow internal controls, FedScoop reported.

The DSCD’s lack of a “centralized and integrated” procurement and acquisition system reduces the effectiveness of acquisition planning and management and yields more chances of errors, the report stated.

The OIG found that part of the problem lies in the Office of Acquisition Management, which the DSCD is part of.

The OIG said the AQM has not yet completed an analysis of the State Department’s IT architecture. The analysis is meant to identify potential integration capabilities for procurement systems.

Another issue is that the DSCD lacked a knowledge management strategy to efficiently manage a large amount of information in its files, including policy documents, standard operating procedures and contracting templates.

The DSCD is currently understaffed, a situation that worsens the division’s IT issues. 

According to the OIG report, 11 out of 43 positions within the division were vacant at the time of inspection. 

As a result, employees have high workloads in the fields of security, worldwide protective services and local guard force and anti-terrorism assistance and training.

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Category: Federal Civilian