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Building Maintenance Contracts Are Not Complying with Their GSA Contracts Due to Poor Performance and Ineffective Oversight

Why We Performed This Audit

During Fiscal Year 2022, our office received complaints alleging deficiencies in the performance of operations and maintenance (O&M) contractors responsible for GSA-owned buildings in New York, New York; and Boston, Massachusetts. Additionally, prior audit reports issued by our office have identified deficiencies in the GSA Public Buildings Service’s (PBS’s) oversight of O&M contractors. Because O&M contractors play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of GSAowned buildings, deficiencies in their performance can lead to the failure of building systems and equipment, as well as the deterioration of a building’s condition. Accordingly, we included this audit in our Fiscal Year 2023 Audit Plan. Our audit objective was to determine whether O&M contractors are complying with the terms and conditions of their GSA contracts.


What We Found

O&M contractors did not consistently comply with the terms and conditions of their GSA contracts. We found that O&M contractors did not complete all work orders for service requests and preventive maintenance. In some cases, O&M contractors marked work orders as complete even though the work was not actually completed. O&M contractors also did not complete work orders timely. 

These deficiencies occurred for a variety of reasons that are attributable to both the O&M contractors and PBS. We found that O&M contractors are not always providing sufficient staff to meet their contract requirements, are struggling to hire and retain key personnel, and are not effectively monitoring their contract performance. We also found that O&M contractors and PBS are misinterpreting the time frames in O&M contracts for completing work orders for routine service requests and that PBS does not always provide effective oversight of the O&M contractors’ performance.


What We Recommend

We recommend that the PBS Commissioner ensure that PBS contracting officials: 

  1. Emphasize the evaluation of O&M contractors’ proposed staffing and communicate with onsite PBS staff prior to contract award to ensure contract terms and conditions can be fully met.
  2.  Confirm and enforce O&M contractor compliance with contractual requirements governing:
              a. “Personnel” and “Contractor Key Personnel”; and
              b. Contingency plans for “Loss of the Contractor’s onsite personnel.”
  3. Ensure that the O&M contract language clearly specifies the time requirements for routine service request completion and that the requirements are communicated to O&M contractors. 
  4. Thoroughly review and understand the O&M contracts’ quality control plan inspection requirements. 
  5.  Improve oversight of O&M contractors’ compliance with the terms and conditions of their GSA contracts.

The PBS Commissioner agreed with the report recommendations. PBS’s response can be found in its entirety in Appendix F.

Business Line
Public Buildings Service
Issue Date