The Assault on Contracting Officer Independence Continues Apace

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A recent DoD Inspector General Report issued on April 8, 2009 continues the intra-governmental assault on the independence of contracting officers in the disposition and compromise of contracting disputes. Billed as the “first in a series of reports we plan to issue on the actions that contracting officers took in response to audit reports of DoD contractors involved in Iraq reconstruction efforts,” the IG Report (D-2009-6-004), takes issue, inter alia, with contracting officer decisions relating to the compromise of a dispute with respect to a credit for self-insurance costs and to the recognition of a cost accounting change as “desirable,” thereby rendering allowable the increased costs associated with the change. Both contracting officer decisions had at least one characteristic in common, i.e., they disregarded the recommendations of the DCAA.

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