September 22, 2007
Are Just a Few "Bad Apples" to Blame for Military Contracting Fraud?
The issue of fraud related to the billions being spent in Iraq and Afghanistan has been the subject of a wide range of government inquiries. At a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee on September 20 on Accountability during Contigency Operations: Preventing and Fighting Corruption in Contracting and Establishing and Maintaining Appropriate Controls on Material, the Pentagon's deputy inspector general and two other senior procurement officials attributed the problems to "a handful of 'bad apples,' a lack of stringent accounting controls, too few properly trained contracting personnel and the demands of wartime operations," according to an AP story (here). According to the deputy IG, there are 225 people working on 90 investigations and 29 audits, and the amount of the contracts affected totals approximately $6 billion. That seems like an awful lot of corruption to blame on bruised fruit along with a lack of training and internal controls. The witness statements are available on the Comittee website here.
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