Monday, September 13, 2010

Another Review on Inadequate Contractor Oversight

These days it seems like everyone wants to weigh in over the lack of contractor oversight by those Government Agencies that are supposed to be "watchdogs" or the Government's "first line of defense" when it comes to protecting taxpayer interests. Thus we have the highly publicized Commission on Wartime Contracting bemoaning the lack of oversight on multi-billion dollar contracts to support operations in Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the DoD-IG ranting about the lack of quality in DCAA audits, and the "me too" GAO piling it on any executive agency involved in contracting or contracting administration, audit, and oversight.

Now comes a new report by the staff of Senator Charles Grassley who initiated a review of the Department of Defense Inspector General's office after receiving a series of anonymous letters alleging mismanagement, low productivity, and misconduct within that Agency.

The report,(you can read the entire 74 page report here) concludes that
instead of searching for fraud on the "money trail", IG auditors have strayed far from the core mission. Now, they frequently review DOD policies and procedures, which yields zero benefits to the taxpayers. They deserve the title: "DOD Policy Police." Discovering that the DOD IG no longer does genuine contract audits was a startling revelation but one that helps to explain why 765 OIG auditors could not document any measurable fraud in FY 2009.
Also, the report continues
If audit capabilities are seriously degraded or crippled, as suggested in this report, then OIG oversight is gravely impaired, leaving huge sums of the taxpayers' money vulnerable to fraud and outright theft. The OIG Audit junkyard dog has been defanged and rendered harmless.
This report did not include DoD comments and we haven't seen anything to indicate the Department's position. We suspect that while the Department may agree with some of the factual matters that lead to Grassley's findings, it would in no way concur with the overall conclusions.

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