New GAO Report Seeks Better Tool for Tracking Iraq, Afghanistan Contracting Information

The U.S. government needs to develop a plan to address limitations of a contractor management and accountability system jointly developed by the U.S. Agency for International Development and Departments of State and Defense to track information on contractors they hire for contingency-related operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has noted.

In a recent report analyzing the three agencies’ use of the Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker system, GAO noted the system’s practical and technical limitations prevented the USAID, State and Defense from fully utilizing it in the past years, most notably in preparing their joint  2011 report on U.S. contingency contracting practices.

GAO said that despite recent improvements made to GAO and more conscious efforts by the three agencies to use it, the system still lacks key functions that would make it a “reliable source of data.”

“As a result, the agencies still do not have reliable sources and methods to report on contracts, assistance instruments, and associated personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the GAO report says.

GAO did not provide new recommendations on how to improve the system but reiterated a previous call for the three agencies to develop a plan on how to address SPOT’s limitations.

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About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.