oversight

Review of the Management of Contracts for Maintenance Painting of Facilities by the Army, Navy, and Air Force

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-12-20.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

DEFENSE   DIWISIOM


              B-156106

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                                                                        LM095471
              Dear Mr. Secretary:     -
                   The General Accounting Office (GAO)has made a'review of the
              management".gfcontracts for maintenance painting.of facilities    by
              th%-&'my, Navy; &d Air Force; This letter smizes        our major
              fLndings and reccxmnendationstogether tith commentsdated May 6,
              1971, of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Installations
              and Logistics) in response to our draft report of Merch 4, 1971
              (OSDCase 3248).
                    The w,Ravy,      and Air Force spend an estimated $100 mKU.ion a
               year on contracts for maintenance painting of facilities.    Welooked
               into the administration of such contracts at 19 military installations
               in the United States and overseas.


                     Wenoted numerous defects on recently painted surfaces and other
               indications of noncompliance with contract provisions pertaining to
               the quality of painting work performed by contractors at the military
               installations.    Specifically, we observed evidence of inferior work-
               manship such as drips, sags, runs, poor coverage, and inadequate sur-
               face preparation.   Webelieve that these deficiencies resulted from
                     --inadequate pre-award surveys to assure that contracts
                        are awarded to qualified contractors,
                     --inadequate Government and contractor inspections
                        during and upon acceptance of contract work,
                     --inadequate paint testing practices, allowing the use of
                        paint which did not meet Federal specifications, and
                     --failure to prepare and distribute   reports of contractors*
                        unsatisfactory work.
                    Most painting contracts did not contain a warranty clause. Further-
               more, when such a clause was included, there was little evidence of
               enforcement.
.



         For detailed discussion of the above matters and of other fkhnd-
    ings of lesser significance, we refer you to our Waft report of
    24arch4, 1971, and embits thereto containing numerous illustrations
    of the conditfons fouud by us at the military installations visited.


         Weremmend that you:
         1.   Take steps to assure that the mibit~y departments
              emphasize to the contracting officitis   at the various
              military installations   the need for improving their
              practices pertain&g to the award and administration
              of painting contracts, specifically in the areas of
                     a. Pre-awaxd surveys,
                    b. ~Goverment inspections,
                     c. Contractors' quality control systems,
                     d. Material (paint) testing, and
                     e. Reporting of information on contractors'
                        performance.
         2.   Consider having a study made of the desirability  of
              including a wsmxmty clause in painting contracts.

         3.   Consider whether problem sreas similar to ones discussed
              above etist s&o in contracts for other types of facility
              mabatenanceand whether  there is a need for strengthening
              procedures relative to madutenancecontracts in general.



         The Deputy Assistant Secretmy stated that, genwally, the deficien-
    cies were a result of a failure to follow existing policy and guidance
    as published by your Office and the headqmrters of the miUtary depart-
    ments. Ee belieed that the g&dance is in most cases suffdxient, but
    that in somerespects revisions may be needed.
           He stated that your Office will take steps to assure that the
    military depwixnents emphasize to field agencies and instaU.ations the
    necessity to comply with prescribed coutracting procedures related to
    maintenance contracts and to painting contracts in particulw.
         With regard to our recommendation that a study of the desirabil-
    ity of including a warranty clause in painting contracts be considered,
    the Deputy Assistant Secretary stated that the Department of Defense

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    policy on wamanty clauses in construction contracts, as contained in
    Armed Services ProcurexuentRegulation (ASPS) l-324, is considered
    adequate and that the military departments are studying the need for
    strengthening the procedures at their level.

         ASPRl-324 s-bates that a warranty clause shall be used when it
    is found to be in the best interest of the Government and delineates
    a number of factors to be considered in making this determination.
    mder this ASERprovision the decision of whether or not to use a war-
    ranty clause is a matter of judgment to be applied in either individual
    procurements or classes of procurements. En practice, most painting
    contracts within the Department of Defense do not contain a warranty
    clause. We suggest that the desirability  of more frequent use of such
    a clause in military painting contracts be considered in studying the
    need for strengthening procedures under ASPRl-324.


         The recommendations in this report are subject to the provisions
    of Section 236 of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970. Wewill
    appreciate receiving copies of the statements you furnish the specified
    committees in accordance w5th these provisions.  Copies of this report
    are being sent to these committees,
         Copies of this report are also being sent to the Director, Office
    of Managementand Budget, the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air
    Force, and the Director, Defense Contract Audit Agency.
                                            Sincerely yours,
                                                      .



                                            Director

    The Xonorable
    The Secre-hry of Defense