Contractors under control in Afghanistan, senator says

Sen. Claire McCaskill says auditors and contract managers are keeping a tighter control of procurement in Afghanistan than they did in Iraq.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said today U.S. military forces based in Afghanistan are doing a much better job of tracking contracts and purchases than they did in Iraq.

Military officers and officials from other agencies are coming together regularly to look at their auditing work, McCaskill said. Members of what are considered auditing committees are checking their audits to make sure they were done correctly. The committees are hunting for gaps in auditing oversight, but also avoiding the duplication of each other’s work, she said in a conference call from New Delhi, India.

In Iraq, however, contracting oversight has been essentially nonexistent, McCaskill added.


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“It was the wild west,” McCaskill said about what she found on a trip to Iraq in 2007. She said she was unsure military officers realized they had a problem with overseeing their contracts.

Today though, the military has improved slightly regarding audits and contracting oversight, according to McCaskill. The military has structures in place and they are now making an effort to track what they buy and keep account of that equipment, she said.

“I don’t think they’ve got a handle on it, but I think they’re working to get a handle on it,” said McCaskill, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security Contracting Oversight Subcommittee.

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