Iraq reconstruction contracts get closer look

Contractors doing reconstruction work in Iraq might be subjected to a more rigorous screening process in the wake of an inspector general report that shows the Defense Department cancelled a large number of such contracts over the past five years, reports Federal Times.

The Defense Department terminated 1,262 Iraq reconstruction contracts since 2003 ? worth a combined $1 billion ? before those projects were completed, according to a report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) released Oct. 27.

As of June 2008, 530 contracts were terminated for default on the part of the contractor. Another 732 contracts were terminated for convenience. Several of the projects were never completed by follow-on contractors, the report stated.

SIGIR found that terminations for convenience were often due to changes in scope or requirement, security problems or because the project was no longer needed.

SIGIR recommends the Army Corps of Engineers for the Gulf Region Division and the Joint Contracting Command for Iraq/Afghanistan reinforce to their contracting staffs the importance of screening contractors to ensure they have not been suspended or debarred.

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