Department of the Interior:
Outstanding Balances on Some Completed Contracts Should Be Deobligated
RCED-00-139R, May 12, 2000
GAO reviewed 31 completed Department of the Interior (DOI) contracts with outstanding balances, focusing on whether the outstanding balances were not needed for contract closeout and could be deobligated.
GAO noted that: (1) agency officials gave GAO a list of 31 contracts that were completed, but not closed out, and still had outstanding balances that totalled $4.4 million at the end of calendar year 1999; (2) GAO found that $607,000 in outstanding balances on five contracts was not needed for contract closeout, and procurement officials at the agencies have agreed to deobligate the balances; (3) the reasons why contracts had not been closed out varied; (4) for some contracts, the agency was waiting for a final audit; (5) for other contracts, a final invoice had not been received by the agency, or the contracts were being litigated; (6) according to agency officials, most of the contracts will be closed out by July 2000 and any remaining balances will be deobligated when those contracts are closed out; (7) the contracts that will not be closed out by that time are undergoing an audit or being litigated; (8) outstanding balances also occurred for several reasons; (9) for most of the contracts, the outstanding balances were being held to pay for final invoices that had not been received from the contractors or for payments of additional costs that might result from audits of the contracts; and (10) some contracts had outstanding balances because claims were pending or the contracts were being litigated.