$5B in CENTCOM Contracting Under Scrutiny

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Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman recently said [release | full press conference transcript] that US Department of Defense officials are concerned with the number of contracting improprieties that have been uncovered within the CENTCOM area of responsibility. Problems with the contracts run the gamut of seriousness from bid-rigging, kickbacks and product substitution to double billing, and Whitman added that the DoD is concerned about “ensuring the integrity of our accounting systems, as well as the integrity of our contracting procedures.” The former could be a tall order; accounting systems have been a long-standing issue in the Pentagon. The Army is the lead agency in the investigations, which cover up to $5 billion in contracts for goods and services issued in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan… The Army Audit Agency, Army Criminal Investigation Command, Defense Contract Auditing Agency, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, FBI, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and US Justice Department, including state district attorneys, are cooperating in this effort, which target government employees, contractors, military personnel and local nationals. As of Aug 23/07, Army spokesman Col. Dan Baggio reports that 73 criminal investigations relating to contract fraud in the region had been started, and 20 civilians and military personnel have […]

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