WASHINGTON U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), has co-sponsored legislation that would create an independent commission to root out fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement in U.S. wartime contracts.
Government auditors have found overwhelming evidence that fraud and abuse are rampant in contracts related to the conduct of the Iraq War. Government auditors recently announced that $1 out of every $6 spent in Iraq reconstruction may be subject to fraud or abuse. According to the Congressional Research Service, the United States has spent more than $437 billion on the Iraq War, with an additional $100 billion to be spent this year, meaning as much as $90 billion in taxpayer money may be wasted by the end of this year.
The American taxpayer is footing the bill for the War in Iraq and we have an obligation to ensure that their money is spent only for the equipment needed by our troops and on the effort to rebuild Iraqs infrastructure. I am deeply concerned by reports of fraud, abuse and waste, and I want to establish a mechanism to make sure U.S. dollars are spent as intended, said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The Commission on Wartime Contracting Establishment Act, S. 1825, would create an independent expert commission to study and investigate wartime contracts since 9/11, and investigate waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in consultation with the Special Investigator General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) and the Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General (IG).
The Commission will release an interim report within one year and a final report in two years regarding its findings. The final report will include recommendations regarding improvements to the contracting process, specifically contract development, award, management, oversight, accountability, appropriateness of tasks, and structure of DOD.
The SIGIR, in consultation with the Commission, will conduct audits of agency contracts to identify potential waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement. Specifically, audits will examine development, award, terms and conditions, contractor cost controls, agency management, oversight, adequacy of contracting personnel, coordination with commanders, appropriateness of functions. SIGIR will refer appropriate cases to the Attorney General for prosecution.
Source: Sen Cardin