requirements, deliverables, and perormance metrics (all o which are supposed to catalogue and recordhow a company ullls a contract) create an environment rie or exploitation by companies seeking toextract revenue rom the process.
Perhaps the most prominent example is the “blanket-purchase agreement” awarded by the Departmento the Interior (DoI) to the contracting rm CACI in 1998 to supply, among other services, inventory control or the U.S. Army. Te contract was worded vaguely, with poor government controls, and itsstructure—the contract was awarded by the DoI but administered by the Department o the Army—made accountability dicult i not impossible.
By 2004, CACI contractors, hired under this inventory and logistics contract, had been assigned to the interrogation acility at Abu Ghraib in Iraq. While noneo the contractors involved in prisoner interrogation were indicted or misconduct, the vaguely-wordedcontract awarded by the government allowed or the contractors it hired to be used inappropriately.Most contracts never approach that level o questionable conduct, however. Rather, through vaguelanguage, open-ended requirements, and unclear perormance metrics these contracts allow companiesto send workers into government acilities without clear expectations or work output and job peror-mance. Worse still, even or multi-million-dollar contracts I have personally encountered poorly trainedgovernment Contracting Ocer Representatives (COR) who only perorm their COR duties part time,and must perorm other duties assigned by their superiors.It is dicult in many cases or the government to keep track o all contractor activities on a given proj-ect.
Te problem o poor government oversight should not imply simply more unding as a solution. Fund-ing will not address the issue o contract wording, nor will it x the very real cases o the governmentasking contractors to perorm inappropriate tasks. Tis is where a more stringent denition—createdin conjunction with Congress and the Director o National Intelligence—o what constitutes inherently governmental job unctions will allow or tighter contract wording, and thus less opportunity or inap-propriate conduct. An enorcement mechanism, whereby contracts can be ended or amended withoutpenalty or improper job assignment, would also help to address this problem. Te only way to arrive ata proper denition o what constitutes an inherently government job is to dene the nature o the jobsthe IC must hire or. Right now, many o those jobs remain so vague as to be indenable.
THE SLOPPY GOVERNMENT CONTRACT
Every contract the government issues or a company to perorm work is dened by the Statement o Work (SOW). Tis is a document that denes the parameters o the work the contractor will perorm,including a description o the project, expected duties the contractor must ulll, and the outputs andmetrics by which perormance will be measured. Tese are ofen poorly written, kept intentionally vague, and wind up not actually addressing the stated intent o the contracts.As one example, every SOW I’ve had to either administer, edit, review, or write has stated as a basicmetric o perormance the number o employees the contractor should hire. Tat is, the basic means by