Ben Vincent
United States
Ridgefield
Washington
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A friend of mine shared this on Facebook, I thought it might be of interest to some people here:

http://www.sigir.mil/files/audits/12-017.pdf

SIGIR = Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction

Quote:
July 13, 2012
FINAL FORENSIC AUDIT REPORT OF IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION FUNDS

What SIGIR Found

SIGIR audits, inspections, and investigations have found serious weaknesses in the government’s controls over Iraq reconstruction funds that put billions of American taxpayer dollars at risk of waste and misappropriation. The precise amount lost to fraud and waste can never be known, but SIGIR believes it is significant. As of June 30, 2012, SIGIR audit reports had questioned $635.8 million in costs, and SIGIR Investigations, working with other agencies, had resulted in $176.84 million in fines, forfeitures, and other monetary results.
SIGIR audit reports identified internal control weaknesses such as inadequate reviews of contractors’ invoices, insufficient numbers of, or inadequately trained oversight staff, poor inventory controls, high staff turnover, poor recordkeeping, insufficient price competition by subcontractors, and weak oversight of cash disbursements. For example, SIGIR’s audit of a DoS contract for Iraqi police training program support found that more than $2.5 billion in U.S. funds was vulnerable to fraud and waste as a result of poor DoS oversight. Another SIGIR audit of a DoD contract for warehousing and distribution services found that the contractor’s business systems had not been adequately reviewed. Business system reviews are the government’s primary control to ensure that prices paid are reasonable and allowable.

Weaknesses in internal controls open the door to opportunities for fraud and other illegal activities. As of June 30, 2012, SIGIR investigators, working with other agencies’ investigators, have developed information used to indict 87 individuals and convict 71 individuals for fraudulent activities including bribery, kick-backs, theft of government funds and property, inflated invoices, delivery of insufficient or inferior goods, and bid rigging. For example, a U.S. Army Captain was convicted of stealing $690,000 intended for security contracts and relief and reconstruction programs. A regional vice president of a logistics company was convicted of a scheme to inflate invoices for military shipments to Baghdad through the firm’s contract. The estimated loss to the U.S. government was approximately $1 million.

SIGIR found few problems in the agencies’ invoice payment processes. SIGIR tested 180,000 DoD, DoS and USAID payment transactions totaling about $40 billion. SIGIR looked for problem transactions such as duplicate payments, payments to fictitious vendors, or inappropriate separation of duties of individuals in the payment process. Overall, SIGIR’s tests found that once invoices were approved for payment, the payments were essentially processed correctly and to valid vendors. However, because of the internal control weaknesses discussed above, government agencies cannot be certain that the payments were for goods and services that (1) were actually received, (2) met contractual specifications, (3) were in accordance with the contract prices, or (4) were competitively priced.


The full report isn't that long, and is a pretty interesting read.
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J
United States
Hawaii
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Re: Final Forensic Audit or Iraq Reconstruction Funds
I was the regional contracting officer for the western quadrant of Afghanistan. If you haven't been offered a suitcase full of cash by a Taliban-friendly contractor then you're not me. ninja
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Jack Smith
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Re: Final Forensic Audit or Iraq Reconstruction Funds
In your Op you may have meant 'of' instead of 'or'.
 
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David McCarson
United States
Sanford
North Carolina
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Quote:
Weaknesses in internal controls open the door to opportunities for fraud and other illegal activities.


In a government operation? Well, that's a first.
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fightcitymayor
United States
Pennsylvania
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"This is a really weird game, and you’ll find that most people will not want to play this."
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All of the waste, all of the outright fraud by Americans on the inside, all of the abuse & gaming of the system, and yet every Republican and every Fox News special report will still try to feed us the same song & dance about "OMG! YOU CAN'T POSSIBLY CUT OUR PRECIOUS MILITARY BUDGET!!! YOU FILTHY LIBERAL!!! Y U HATE AMERICA?!?!"

Just two things before my blood boils to the point of having a stroke:
A) Military budgets exist so that politicians can give massive defense contracts to donors like Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. They don't exist to pay soldiers. Which is why every time I see fundraisers for wounded soldiers I wonder why Republican America doesn't get pissed off over that. How about a few less bucks for missiles we'll never use, or planes that have already cost us billions and STILL don't function properly, and a few more bucks taking care of the people we decide to throw in harm's way. It's always "SUPPORT THE TROOPS!" even though the DoD budget does just the opposite of that. It's one of the biggest, most ongoing Republican scams.

B) If Iraq & Afghanistan have taught us anything (other than waging war in sovereign nations for over a decade is kind of a drag) it's that all of the military might in the world can't do the job that MONEY can. We need to face the 21st century reality that we don't need tanks, we don't need planes, we don't need guns, and we barely need any soldiers. We need a guy with a checkbook ensuring people behave the way we want them to behave, and we need maybe a handful of troops to stand behind the guy with the checkbook & look mean. Add a few drones to the equation and we can cut the military budget by about 90%. OH WAIT, we can't because god forbid Northrop Grumman not get that next $10 billion for work on the next-generation strategic bomber. The same bomber that will function just like the last copy of Through The Desert I bought: We'll rip the shrinkwrap off, play with it once, then sit it on the shelf until one day we decide to sell it to some poor unfortunate who will likely get as much use out of it as we did.


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