COVID-19 Contracting: Opportunities to Improve Practices to Assess Prospective Vendors and Capture Lessons Learned, Report to Congressional Addressees [open pdf - 3MB]
From the Highlights: "In response to COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019], agencies awarded contracts for goods and services to vendors from a range of industries and with varying levels of federal contracting experience, but some vendors have been unable to deliver under those contracts. The CARES [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act] Act included a provision for GAO [Government Accountability Office] to review COVID-19-related federal contracting under the act. This report addresses (1) COVID-19 contract obligations and characteristics of vendors, (2) contracting challenges, including with agency assessments of vendors, and (3) whether lessons learned efforts reflect those challenges. GAO analyzed federal procurement data on agencies' reported COVID-19 contract obligations through May 31, 2021. GAO examined a nongeneralizable sample of 28 contracts with high dollar values or other characteristics from four agencies--DOD, HHS [Department of Health and Human Services], USDA, and DHS. GAO interviewed officials, including Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials about their emergency acquisition guidance. GAO is making 10 recommendations, including that agencies establish processes to better collect and communicate contracting lessons learned during emergencies such as COVID-19. Agencies agreed with nine recommendations. OMB did not agree to establish time frames for updating its guidance. GAO continues to believe OMB should do so, as discussed in this report."
Government Accountability Office: https://www.gao.gov/