USPS OIG: Are USPS Contracting Officers Improperly Extending Contracts?

August 10, 2017

The U.S. Postal Service has contracts for goods and services that are managed in three systems – the Contract Authoring and Management System, the Transportation Contracting Support System, and the electronic Facilities Management System. The contracting officer (CO) is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the Postal Service and its suppliers comply with contract terms and conditions, including clauses in the contract, determining and ensuring best value, and deciding to renew or extend a contract.

If COs must extend an existing contract to avoid a potential gap in service, they may use renewals and/or options to do so. For a contract to be renewed or an option to be exercised, the contract must include the applicable clauses. Our audit will determine whether Contracting Officers are properly extending contracts.

  • What controls should the Postal Service have in place to prevent COs from improperly extending contracts?
  • What policies and procedures should the Postal Service implement for using renewals and options?
  • What policies and procedures should the Postal Service implement for managing contracts that have been open for an extended amount of time (for example, 8 years or more)?
  • How should the Postal Service ensure it obtains best value prior to extending a contract?


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