Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I am going back to contracting

The U.S. State Department is unable to account for most of $1.2 billion in funding that it gave to DynCorp International to train Iraqi police, a government report said Tuesday.

"The bottom line is that State can't account for where it went," said Glenn D. Furbish, who was involved in putting together the 20-page report for the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction (SIGIR).

The Department of State's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) "did not have the information needed to identify what DynCorp provided under the contract or how funds were spent," the report said.

As a result, the audit agency announced it has suspended its oversight of the agency's project until INL gathers the information.

"Their records are just not detailed," Furbish said Monday in a telephone interview. "From an audit perspective, we've identified the problem; they're working to rectify the problem."

Though Iraqi police have indeed been trained and equipment has been provided under the contract, invoices and supporting paperwork submitted by DynCorp "were in disarray," the report said.

In addition, INL "had not validated the accuracy" of invoices received prior to last October, and "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."

The lack of controls "created an environment vulnerable to waste and fraud," the report said.
State Department spokeswoman Susan Pittman said a number of reforms have been made since January. "We are committed to continuous improvement," she said.

Continuous improvement starting with a process that didn't function at all for years seems to be setting pretty damned low expectations. I wonder what happened late last year that might have made State say "hey maybe we should audit this". If this was going on in a private company there would be firings, grand juries would be formed and lawsuits would be be filed to try to get back some of the money. Instead, in our world .. the company gets new contracts.

When i was a consultant, if I fucked around my clients and said "yeah yeah just pay me" I wouldn't get hired again and certainly wouldn't get paid. I guess I was doing something wrong.

Read the whole sad story at CNN.com

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