DoD’s Steps Forward in Government Property Audits
We all know that DoD is working towards the 2017 Clean Audit goal. While it remains to be seen whether DoD will achieve the goal, I am encouraged to see many positive steps taken in different agencies within DoD in preparing the Government Property Book for audits. Government Property is a significant component of DoD’s capital assets and expenses. The progress in cleaning the Government Property record and improving the management process will certainly move the DoD closer to achieving the Clean Audit goal.
Over the past few months, I have participated in Government Property Management summits organized by DoD agencies, talked to leaders who are drafting policies to improve the Government Property Management system both within DoD agencies and among DoD contractors, and talked to many DoD contractors about the changes in contract terms they have seen.
I have seen a few consistent themes:
- Agencies are putting a focused organizational effort in cleaning the data for Government Property. Not only are they taking systematic approach to cleaning and organizing asset data, they are also revising and communicating policies with regards to recording new Government Property asset data. A lot of Government Property are in the hands of DoD contractors, so agencies not only tightening up internal processes but also working closely with their contractors to facilitate the change.
- Agencies are standardizing the data and platform for storing and updating Government Property data. The Defense Logistics Management Standards (DLMS) provide a broad base of process rules, data standards, and information exchange forms to facilitate standardizing the data elements and facilitating the data exchange among different systems among DoD agencies and contractors.
- DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency) is putting more emphasis on auditing the Government Property Management business system in DoD contractors. Since DoD established the Business System Rules in 2010, DoD’s auditing agencies, DCAA and DCMA, have been busy auditing the 6 business systems in many DoD contractors. Among the 6 business systems, Accounting, Estimating, Purchasing, Earned Value Management, Material Management, Government Property Management, Government Property Management business system is probably the most forgotten system, until now. We are seeing increased audits in Government Property Management business system in 2015 and 2016, and we anticipate the trend will continue in 2017 and 2018.
Any major business and operational changes required people, process, and technology to work together. Clearly, DoD agencies have devoted people, process, and technologies to clean up Government Property record and management process. We have seen the progress and I am confident we will see more.