Washington probing Frankfurt MWR

European Stars and Stripes, Darmstadt, Germany

 

Department of the Army officials from Washington began a review of the Frankfurt, Germany, military community’s non-appropriated fund contracting proce­dures on Tuesday and did so at the suggestion of the Army’s European contracting command.

The review comes on the heels of a separate investi­gation being conducted by the U.S. Army Europe in­spector general team into Frankfurt’s use of non-ap­propriated funds, commonly called NAF or morale, welfare and recreation money.

The community spent at least $435,000 of fiscal 1991 morale, welfare and recreation money to buy,. among other things, office furniture and equipment. Sources in Frankfurt said the purchases violated Army regula­tions generally prohibiting the use of MWR money for projects that do not improve quality of life for soldiers and their families.

The Stars and Stripes reported the allegations Tues­day.

The review was scheduled before the allegations arose, said an official with the U.S. Army Contracting Comd Europe. He added that the review team would be interested in the IG investigation. The team began asking questions about the investigation “first thing this morning,” a Frankfurt source said.

Frankfurt was singled out from the command’s 16 re­gional contracting offices for the review because “there are severe duplications in functions that cause a real lack of efficiency,” the official said.

In April, the Army’s procurement management divi­sion in Washington asked the European contracting command to suggest communities that warrant review, said the official, who asked not to be identified.

Contracting command officials cited two commu­nities in Germany: Grafcnwohr as a model of how the system should work and Frankfurt as an example of a community with contracting problems involving non­appropriated funds, the official said.

The five-person review team is also following up a 1991 Department of Defense inspector general investi­gation into Frankfurt’s use of appropriated funds, ac­cording to a June letter from the Washington procure­ment division to the contracting command in Europe .

The letter did not detail the IG investigation. However, the contracting official said the investigation re­vealed shortcomin$s in Frankfurt and recommended changes. The official did not know the nature of the recommendations, but said the review team will deter­mine if those changes have been made.

Reviewers from the States first visited the contract­ing command headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, on July 6, the official said. They then reviewed Gra­fcnw6hr’s NAF contracting system last week, and will look into Frankfurt’s operation through Friday.

The purpose of the review was outlined in an April letter from the Department of the Army tn the Wash­ington contracting agency.

The letter said that the team would assess:

⦁ The effectiveness of the Army’s NAF contracting regulation, AR 215-4.
⦁ Whether buying limits on computer equipment are bieng followed.
⦁ The effectiveness of training for NAF contracting people.
⦁ Command supervision of NAF contracting offices.
⦁ Whether only authorized officals are approving NAF purchases.