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Pentagon working on oversight of defense contractors

By Ed O'Keefe

By The Post's Dana Hedgpeth:

Pentagon officials said Monday that they are working to improve the spending and oversight of billions of dollars of contract work being done in Afghanistan and Iraq by hiring more contract specialists and providing additional training to government employees who oversee contractors.

Government officials told the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, a congressionally appointed committee that helps oversee government spending, that they've been hammered in handling government contracts after years of a shrinking acquisition workforce, while at the same time defense budgets have skyrocketed. The Army's contracting workforce is only 55 percent of what it was in the mid-1990s, while the dollar value of contracts they oversee is approximately $165 billion. That's left less oversight of contractors and problems of waste, fraud and abuse.

Michael Thibault, co-chairman of the wartime contracting commission, said that with the $80 billion worth of contracting work that's been spent over the past five years in Iraq and Afghanistan, he's concerned about the "lack of commensurate focus, oversight and program management by government officials."

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By Ed O'Keefe  | April 19, 2010; 2:03 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Contracting  
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