Waste, Fraud in Iraq Put All Eyes on DoD Contracting

June 13, 2012

The Commission on Wartime Contracting closed shop last August after two years investigating overseas contingency contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The commission's final report declared between $30 billion and $60 billion lost to waste and fraud and sounded alarms about, what it called, the inadequate acquisition workforces at the Departments of Defense and State.

A few years earlier, when former Undersecretary of Defense Jacques Gansler was tasked with examining deficiencies in Army contracting, a general officer told the Gansler Commission shortcomings were "pervasive" across DoD: "Workload continues to go up while contracting and acquisition assets go down."

While fraud and misconduct get plenty of play in the news media, experts say the biggest drain on funds in overseas contingency contracting stems not from fraud but from waste, poor planning, sparse resources and lax oversight — issues that plague nearly all of federal procurement. 

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