Agencies Are Taking Steps to Improve Data on Contracting but Need to Standardize Reporting

September 12, 2012

What GAO Found
Although SPOT was designated as the common database for the statutorily required information on contracts, assistance instruments, and related personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, officials from DOD, State, and USAID generally relied on other data sources they regarded as more reliable to prepare the 2011 joint report. For example, only State relied directly on SPOT for contractor and assistance personnel information, while none of the three agencies used SPOT to identify the number of contractor and assistance personnel killed or wounded in the two countries. The agencies used a variety of sources to prepare the 2011 joint report and, in some cases, used different data sources or changed their methodologies from what was used for the 2010 joint report. This was generally done in an effort to provide better information or address limitations identified in our prior reports.

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