Pentagon Drops Ball on Contractor Oversight: Report

Says tens of billions in contracts lack decent US supervision
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 9, 2009 9:33 AM CDT
KBR, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer William Utt answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press in Washington, Wednesday May 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/J. David Ake)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Though US defense contracting has reached “unprecedented proportions” in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Defense Department isn’t adequately monitoring the contracts, according to an independent watchdog. A report to be presented to Congress tomorrow says the government lacks central records showing the identities, activities, and pay of some 240,000 private workers contracted for tens of billions of dollars, the AP reports.

The 111-page report by the Wartime Contracting Commission, created by Congress last year, says the contracting system is poorly run. One example is a poorly planned $30 million mess hall in Iraq: it’s too late to stop building it, so it will end up a symbol of waste in the war effort. And the report raises the concern that as US troops leave Iraq, supervision of contractors will be even weaker.