"More than a quarter of a million security contractors have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002, and between them they have managed to lose at least $31 billion of the $190 billion spent on their contracts and grants, or approximately 30 per cent of taxpayer funds they received, according to a government watchdog commission.
The Commission estimates that waste and fraud could possibly reach as much as $60 billion in Iraq and Afghanistan. The additional waste may develop if host countries cannot or will not sustain U.S.-funded projects and programs after the United States hands them over or reduces its support.
Shays said the Commission report lays blame at the doorsteps of both government and the contracting industry. Many of the convictions and guilty pleas for bribery, kickbacks, theft, and other offenses involve federal civilians and members of the military, he said.
He added, Some contractors have been performing tasks that only federal employees should perform, while others are doing work that is permissible but still too risky or inappropriate for contractors. And overall, there is simply too much contracting for the federal contract-management and oversight workforce to handle. From every angle, thats over-reliance.
We have seen examples of the effective use of such units. Witness Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. Mr. Bowen is tasked with auditing and investigating the use of taxpayer funds appropriated for the Iraq reconstruction effort. Since 2004, he has produced over 350 audits and inspections, resulting in financial benefits in excess of $1.1 billion; his investigations have yielded over 50 convictions, with recoveries in excess of $150 million via forfeiture orders, fines, and seizures.
Stuart Ackerman of Wired reports that Bowen is being stonewalled by Hilary Clinton regarding States contractor plans after US troops largely depart. There are also a few stealthy efforts by some in Congress to scuttle his whole operation. Yet it remains in place doing its job and doing it well."