U.S. cannot account for billion-dollar Iraq contract

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by moga, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. moga

    moga New Member

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    The State Dept's declaration that the audit into the contract be suspended due to a lack of confidence in the accounting records of the OIGIR and their subsequent prediction that it would take THREE TO FIVE YEARS to reconcile those records is quite alarming and highly suspicious. I freak out if I can't account for $100 in spending. How does the USGovt fail to determine how it spent $1 BILLION of US taxpayer money on one contract? How many other contracts has it failed to account for how our money was spent?

    And how in the hell can a department be trusted with this much money if it can't properly record how it's being used? This story is FUBAR on so many levels.

    It reminds me of the scene in the Will Smith movie Independence Day. Bill Pullman asks outloud with what funds was a secret lab in NM built since Congress had suspended funding for the project decades earlier. Judd Hirsch, acting as the father of a civilian, blurts out "well, you don't really think that they pay $20,000 for a hammer, $30,000 for a toilet seat, do you?"

    I loathe to appear conspiratist, but this story strongly suggests to me that someone is stealing taxpayer money from the war chest under guise as legitimate expenditures with tacit help from high levels of the Govt to obscure the benefactor(s).

    I see no other way to comprehend this level of incompetence and irresponsibility, especially during a time of war.

    [/rant]





    http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN22450778

    Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:01am EDT

    By David Morgan

    WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) - The State Department does not know specifically what it received for a billion-dollar contract with security firm DynCorp International to provide training services for Iraqi police, a U.S. watchdog agency said on Tuesday.

    The Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) said it was forced to suspend its audit of the DynCorp contract after administration officials told investigators they had no confidence in their own accounting records.

    The inspector general said the agency had not validated the accuracy of invoices received before October 2006 and described bills and supporting documents as being in disarray.

    Among the problems identified before the audit was suspended were duplicate payments, the purchase of a never-used $1.8 million X-ray scanner and payments of $387,000 to house DynCorp officials in hotels rather than other available accommodation.

    The inspector general blamed the problems on long-standing contract administration problems at the State Department agency responsible for the contract -- the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, or INL.

    "As a result, INL does not know specifically what it received for most of the $1.2 billion in expenditures under its DynCorp contract for the Iraqi Police Training Program. INL's prior lack of controls created an environment vulnerable to waste and fraud," SIGIR said in an interim review.

    The report coincides with a controversy over the use of private security firms in Iraq, particularly Blackwater USA, which is under scrutiny over a Sept. 16 shooting incident in Baghdad in which 17 people were killed.

    The Pentagon employs at least 7,300 security contractors in Iraq and the State Department thousands more. U.S. officials say they are needed to free up soldiers for other tasks.

    POLICE TRAINING

    INL agreed with the inspector general's overall findings and has taken steps to address the problems, the report said. The inspector general hopes to resume its audit before January, once corrective action has been taken.

    But officials told the inspector general that it could take three to five years to review and reconcile all invoices and validate all property records.

    DynCorp spokesman Gregory Lagana said the contract dealt with a complex program set up quickly in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. But he said both the State Department and DynCorp had made improvements in its administration.

    The State Department agency awarded the contract to DynCorp in February 2004. The agreement covers housing, food, security, facilities, training support systems and law enforcement specialists for Iraqi civilian police training.

    INL had agreed to pay DynCorp a total of $1.34 billion for police training services in Iraq, as of Aug. 23, 2007. Actual expenditures stood at $1.22 billion.

    The report said DynCorp did not provide data to support travel and housing charges, while documents to support other expenses were presented in "an unmanageable format."

    DynCorp gave the law enforcement agency a $108,000 check after officials sought a review of invoices and documents related to business travel expenses, the report said.

    Lagana said DynCorp proposed housing senior executives in hotels partly for security reasons and that the proposal had been accepted by the government. He described other shortcomings as "human errors" for which the company routinely reimburses the State Department.
     

  2. tace

    tace New Member

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    There was a recent article in a magazine that detailed how the Authority basically shoveled money out to contractors and alike without so much as giving a receipt. If I can find the article at home, I will post later tonight. Excellent journalism, and disgusting financial responsibility.

    Few things I remember;
    a) After the invasion, Iraq was managed by an Authority that was a shell corporation out of the Bahamas (IIRC) and wasn't responsible to ANYONE, not to the UN nor US.
    b) Auditing was outsourced to a virtual corporation that had NO ACCOUNTANTS in staff via a closed bid.
    c) Billions were flown in from US to Baghdad and handed to this Authority and they dispensed the money as they saw fit without ANY accounting of where money was being dispensed to.
     
  3. Dan H

    Dan H New Member

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    Yeah, I read the same article in one of those plane magazines that they give you in flight. UNBELIEVABLE
     
  4. moga

    moga New Member

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    There is a part of me that stands in complete disbelief as I read this. My natural reaction is to lament "are you serious?" but in my heart of hearts, I surely know that you are. Not accountable to the UN or the US? Unbelieveable. What the hell is our [taxpayer] money doing there then? How do we even know that it isn't in the private accounts of individuals that wish to remain outside of the authority of the US Government? Is this how Saddam managed to have $600m US currency in his possession when he was found in his dirty hole?

    I would be grateful if you could find a link to an article. Thanks in advance.
     
  5. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Why should anybody be accountable to the U.N.? :?
     
  6. tace

    tace New Member

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  7. Dan H

    Dan H New Member

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    LOL, yep thats where I read it. It was my GF's magazine and I was reading it on a flight, lol, forgot...

    Decent journalism agreed

    That money was probably not even Tax Dollars, it was probably "counterfeit" money printed straight from the Fed...