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Aug 07, 2008

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Joseph

DCAA should not be blamed for anything. They are a good restaurant just trying to get by in tough economic times! Give them a break!

Current DCAA Employee

Long as you're laying blame, why not look at Congress for that lovely animal caled NSPS? It's a "metric" driven personnel system that rewards metrics and hurts those who don't make their metric. All congress did when they proposed this system was to re-enforce what DCAA was already doing. So Bill never had an inkiling about his metrics being bad. As far as him knowing what was going on the Western Region, he knew, and he condoned it. If Bill knew, I'm certain April knew also. Based on that and her defense of Sharon Kawamoto will do her in for sure. Senator McCaskill stated during the hearing that she "would not be surprised" if April loses her job because of this scandel. Maybe we need a fresh new look without the world of metrics!

David

April Stephenson has not issued a Memo in at least five days, perhaps she is just crossing her fingers and hoping it all goes away. Does anyone know which defense contractor our former vissionary leader Bill Reed went to work for? I almost wonder if any company would pay him anything I mean what could he really do, walk around and have people kiss his ring and praise him for "The Vission." Maybe he is just out for a long run. It's very funny all the Kool Aid drinkers lamented for years that DCAA would be lost when Reed retired, yet now that he is gone I never hear anyone mention his name. Poor Bill, he stayed too long and never heard that saying "Cemeteries are full of irreplacable men."

All this has been going on for a long time. This is nothing new, it was finally exposed.

Ted

Interesting comments on DCAA's two DoD bosses Tina Jonas and Dov Zakheim. I don't doubt they are largley clueless also, in fact Dov Zahheim is a Neocon, who should have never been in the position he was and the fact that he was is a scandal far bigger than DCAA's clueless management. Is the Western Region Deputy RD you speak of Susan Barajas? What can they really do to punish someone, rotate them to another region? So they trade the Western Region RD to the Mid-Atlantic for their RD. Oh wait they can't do that cause Steve was transfered twice already for his problems with woman. Plus, Steve meets another metric that they don't want to tinker with. It's funny that people compare Bill Reed to J. Edgar Hoover, in that both stayed in power way too long. However, I find the comparison an Insult to Mr. Hoover. At least Hoover ran a fine agency, thats more than can be said of Reed and have you ever seen Bill in a red evening dress?

The GAO Report, the POGO and GovExec blog postings, and general scuttlebutt demonstrate that a number of DCAA management people (Agency-wide) have threatened; and/or mistreated DCAA auditors, while the auditors were in the performance of their Official Duties.

Like all Federal Departments and Agencies, the Defense Contract Audit Agency has a zero tolerance for "Violence In The Workplace". In order to determine the true scope and magnitude of the problem the yearly stats on the number of adverse personnel actions (written reprimands, suspensions, removals, etc.) taken against DCAA Supervisors, DCAA Field Audit Office Managers, DCAA Regional Audit Managers, etc. could be collected from the five DCAA Regional Personnel Offices, and the DCAA Ft. Belvoir Headquarters Personnel Office. These personnel offices are directly involved in the preparation of all the adverse personnel actions involving DCAA employees under their jurisdiction. A summary of the stats could then be disseminated to the public by a DCAA press release.

The press release could also be sent to the Chairman, The Honorable Joseph Lieberman; and the Ranking Member, The Honorable Susan Collins, on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs. The full Committee would then be able to consider this DCAA report along with the GAO reporting, which they already have.

It would also be useful to put The Honorable Tina Jonas, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to whom the Director reports, on the distribution list.

Dan

Having been an auditor with DCAA for 21 years, this comes as no surprise. Managers and Supervisors don't do audits and have lost touch with what it takes to do one. But the average time a takes is driven by a metric no the circumstances of the audit itself. But the metrics usually call for a productivity improvement over the prior year's average time of say 10%. Just think in ten years the audits will take no time at all LOL.

Dan

It all seems to be related to managing to a strick set of metrics and not managing audits or employees! DCAA does do well with promotion of employees based on not making waves. Its not the midlevel managment that drives this but the upper managment! What a shame this used to be a very proud and productive agency!

DON

All this scandal happened at three DCAA offices in southern California. It is interesting that during the general time frame of all but one of the questionable audits at least two of the three offices had something in common. The person that is now the Deputy Director for the Western Regional Office of DCAA was the Resident Auditor or Branch Manager at these two offices and subsequently became the Regional Audit Manager over at least two of these offices. She has a reputation of threatening auditors. She work at headquarters down the hall from Bill Reed before becoming a manager in the Western Region, in spite of having little or no experience in managing people. All that have been witness are stunned by her meteoric rise to the Deputy Director Position with such little experience. But she was able to oversee the issuance of many finding free audit reports.

Sam

I could not agree more with the prior blogger's assessment. The government/business revolving door is ultimately to blame and should be locked. And, to bring back real independent oversight the DCAA must be removed from the DoD. It has never been truly independent under GAGAS. It could be put in another executive agency or even in the legislative branch as a component of GAO. It could just be renamed the federal contract audit agency (FCAA). DCAA reviews something like $400 billion in government procurements annually, so we need to get serious with the oversight reform. And, of course, no one should be allowed to lead an agency of the government for as long as 20 years like Bill Reed did at DCAA, ala J. Edgar Hoover at the FBI. That is just asking for corruption.

Frank

The auditors in the article blame Bill Reed, prior DCAA Director, but we need to go higher than DCAA. Tina Jonas, DoD Comptroller is also responsbile for DCAA's current situation. Jonas requires a number of metrics from all of her people including DCAA. For those of you unfamilar with DCAA, DCAA reports to the DoD Comptroller who is currently Jonas. Jonas' oversight of DCAA involves reviewing DCAA's metrics. Jonas is famous for her lengthy scorecards and having her people spend hundreds of hours (many uncompensated) to develop scorecards. Metrics, metrics, metrics -- look to Jonas not DCAA. Jonas is also responsble for the staffing shortfalls at DCAA. For example, in FY 2008, Congress approved an extra $10 million for DCAA over that submitted by Jonas. But Jonas decided to cut the $10 million in half -- how can she get away with such cuts? Jonas and the prior Comptroller, Dov Zakheim, routinely cut DCAA's budget. They asked for more audits from DCAA while at the same time, they cut the staff. It is clear that the Pentagon is responsible for the unrealistic expectations on DCAA auditors. I also find it intersting that after Zakheim routinely cut DCAA's budgets, he went to work for a contractor that is audited by DCAA. I bet Jonas plans to do the same. Perhaps that is their plan, water-down DCAA and move on to a contractor audited by DCAA. If anyone wants real change at DCAA, move it out of the Pentagon and establish it is as an independent Agency. Now that would be time well spent by Congress.

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