STATE OIG: Audit of Bureau of Diplomatic Security Worldwide Protective Services Contract Task Order 3 — Baghdad Embassy Security Force
The Department of State (Department) awarded Task Order 3 under the Worldwide Protective Services (WPS) base contract to SOC, LLC (SOC) on September 29, 2010. The purpose of the task order is to provide static guard and emergency response services for U.S. Embassy Baghdad. The task order’s period of performance is for one base year beginning July 21, 2011, and four option years. The task order is currently valued at approximately $909 million.
OIG reviewed all 1,016 invoices totaling $466.0 million submitted by SOC as of December 31, 2014, and is questioning $7.2 million of the costs approved by the Contracting Officer’s Representative. Specifically, OIG questions $652,061 in costs considered unallowable based on the contract terms, applicable laws, or regulation. OIG is also questioning $6.5 million in costs not adequately supported. Report.
STATE OIG: Middle East Region Operations: Improvements Needed To Strengthen Vehicle-Fueling Controls and Operations and Maintenance Contract at Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan
In December 2010, OIG reported that an Afghan fuel vendor, National Fuels, Inc., billed Embassy Kabul for $346,682 in fuel that it had not received. OIG conducted this audit to determine whether U.S. Embassy Kabul had implemented adequate controls to safeguard and account for purchased fuel and whether PAE Government Services, Inc. (PAE), the embassy’s operations and maintenance contractor, performed its fuel-monitoring duties in accordance with the statement of work.
The effectiveness of controls to safeguard and account for fuel throughout the receipt and distribution process at Embassy Kabul varied. For example, for a time, the embassy was using flow meters that were not calibrated. OIG determined that this practice may have led to the embassy being overbilled by at least $160,000 between January 2013 and March 2014.
Further, the embassy paid $1.21 million in fuel invoices without proper supporting documentation. The embassy only provided OIG with the invoices for $1.21 million of fuel purchased, and did not provide any documentation supporting the invoice approval and payment during the audit. Report.
GAO: Diplomatic Security: State Department Should Better Manage Risks to Residences and Other Soft Targets Overseas
State has built many new embassies and consulates since 1998 and enhanced security measures at others. Increased security at such facilities has raised concerns that residences, schools, and other places where U.S. diplomatic personnel and their families congregate may be viewed by terrorists as more attractive “soft targets.”
CNN: GAO study faults State Department for lax security practices overseas
STATE OIG: State Department and Other Agencies Should Further Explore Opportunities to Save Administrative Costs Overseas
The U.S. government employs more than 23,500 Americans overseas at more than 250 diplomatic and consular posts. These posts require a variety of support services, such as building maintenance and vehicle operations. Agencies may obtain these services, primarily from the Department of State (State), through the International Cooperative Administrative Support Services (ICASS), but participation in most services is voluntary. A 2004 GAO report found that ICASS had not eliminated duplication of support services and that customers generally approved of the quality of ICASS services, but that the level of satisfaction was difficult to quantify.
Arthur D. Simons Center: Report examines embassy management