Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Up to $60B in war funds said wasted

WASHINGTON (AP)

As much as $60 billion intended for financing U.S. wars Iraq and Afghanistan has been lost to waste and fraud over the past decade through lax oversight of contractors, poor planning and payoffs to warlords and insurgents, an independent panel investigating U.S. wartime spending estimates.

In its final report to Congress, the Commission on Wartime Contracting said the figure could grow as U.S. support for reconstruction projects and programs wanes, leaving both countries to bear the long-term costs of sustaining the schools, medical clinics, barracks, roads and power plants already built with American tax dollars.

Much of the waste and fraud could have been avoided with better planning and more aggressive oversight, the commission said. To avoid repeating the mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan, government agencies should overhaul the way they award and manage contracts in war zones, the commission recommended.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the commission’s 240-page report in advance of its scheduled public release on Wednesday.

Created by Congress in 2008, the eight-member commission held more than two dozen hearings, interviewed hundreds of military and civilian officials and traveled multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan. The panel’s final report is the most comprehensive examination so far of the U.S. dependence on contractors and the government’s ability to manage them in combat areas.

The commission said calculating the amount lost through waste and fraud is difficult because there is no commonly accepted methodology for doing so. Using information it has gathered over the past three years, however, the commission said at least $31 billion has been lost and the total could be as high as $60 billion. The commission called the estimate “conservative.”

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August 30, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Commission on Wartime Contracting, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, Iraq, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Senate Report Says ArmorGroup Funded Warlords In Bed With the Taliban

Project of Government Oversight

“Money is ammunition; don’t put it in the wrong hands,” Gen. David Petraeus warned in an August memo that gave counterinsurgency (COIN) guidance. But apparently the U.S. government is doing just that. Yesterday, the Senate Armed Services Committee released a report detailing examples where the U.S. has fueled warlords connected with the Taliban and Iranian intelligence. This is at least the third government report made public that asserts that weak contract oversight is undermining U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan–in sum, we may be funding the very folks we’re fighting against.

According to the Senate report, its “inquiry uncovered evidence of private security contractors funneling U.S. taxpayers dollars to Afghan warlords and strongmen linked to murder, kidnapping, bribery as well as Taliban and other anti-Coalition activities.” The report delves into numerous problems connected to the more than 26,000 private security personnel in Afghanistan, an estimated 90 percent of whom are funded through U.S. contracts or subcontracts. The issues range from untrained guards to insufficient weaponry to unmanned posts.

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October 8, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, ArmorGroup, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, G4S, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment