The multibillion-dollar surge in federal contracting to bolster the nation’s domestic defenses in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has been marred by extensive waste and misspent funds, according to a new bipartisan congressional report.
Lawmakers say that since the Homeland Security Department’s formation in 2003, an explosion of no-bid deals and a critical shortage of trained government contract managers have created a system prone to abuse. Based on a comprehensive survey of hundreds of government audits, 32 Homeland Security Department contracts worth a total of $34 billion have “experienced significant overcharges, wasteful spending, or mismanagement,” according to the report, which is slated for release today and was obtained in advance by The Washington Post.
“Every dollar that is wasted on a contract is a dollar less that could be used to make Americans more secure,” said former department inspector general Clark Kent Ervin. “This kind of abuse constitutes a security gap all its own in America’s defense.”
Ervin said that though an undue reliance on contractors might have been excused when the agency was launched, it “is not understandable or justified all these years after the creation of the department.” The private sector, he said, has had the opportunity “time and time again to take the department — and thereby taxpayers — for a ride.”
Just a reminder that this happened on Bush’s watch, as did the 9/11 attack, the failed response to Katrina, the loss of $9 billion by the CPA, the erosion of Constitutional protections, and the fake war that has resulted in thousands of needless deaths while creating a training ground for terrorists.
Did I mention that the Vice President shot an old man in the face?
Just in case you’re keeping score at home.
Or planning on voting in November.