It’s hardly news that U.S. government contracts in Iraq have been a mess of fraud, abuse, and lax oversight for years. But a new Inspector General report that reveals the State Department assigned just one oversight officer to a $2.5 billion police training contract still manages to shock.
The report (.pdf) released today by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction is the second study in the past few years that showed lax or nonexistent oversight on the large police training contract of Virginia-based Dyncorp.
The IG concluded that “over $2.5 billion in U.S. funds are vulnerable to waste and fraud” — an assertion the State Department disputes.
The BBC outlines the state of oversight on the contract:
According to [the IG[ report, for years the state department had only one person in Iraq monitoring invoices during the early stages of the DynCorp contract, despite the complexity of the paperwork.
This meant many invoices were not questioned and as a result there is “no confidence in the accuracy of payments of more than $1bn to DynCorp”, the report says.
The three people now employed in Iraq to oversee the work done by DynCorp are still too few, the audit concludes.