Washington D.C. – The Associated Press has reported after receiving a copy of the final report from the Commission on Wartime Contracting that as much as $60 billion in U.S. tax dollars have been lost to fraud and waste in Iraq and Afghanistan during the last decade due to negligent oversight of contractors, corruption as well as poor planning.
In its final report to Congress the commission reports that the spending on grants and contract supporting U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is expected to exceed $206 billion by the end of budget year 2011. Based on the commission investigation, they report that contracting waste in Afghanistan ranged from 10% to 20% of the $206 billion total. Fraud during the same time frame ran between 5% and 9% of the total.
The commission advised that government agencies should renovate their procedures of awarding and managing contracts in war zones so the same mistakes are not repeated. Among the 15 recommendations made by the commission are the creation of an inspector general to monitor contracting and the appointment of a senior governmental official to improve coordination and planning.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who co-sponsored the legislation establishing this commission, said in a statement emailed Tuesday that “it is disgusting to think that nearly a third of the billions and billions we spent on contracting was wasted or used for fraud.”
This final report is being issued due to the law creating the commission also dictating that it would cease operating at the end of September 2011, even as the U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be heavily supported by contractors.
The Associated Press reported earlier this month that U.S. military authorities in Kabul believe $360 million in U.S. tax dollars has ended up in the hands of people the American-led coalition has spent nearly a decade battling: the Taliban, criminals as well as power brokers with ties to both.
- Panel: Widespread waste and fraud in U.S. war spending (ctv.ca)
- Panel: Widespread waste and fraud in war spending (aegischronicle.com)
- Report: Up to $60B wasted in war contracting (cbsnews.com)
- Up to $60 billion lost to waste, fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan (thestar.com)