Contractors under control in Afghanistan, senator says

But Iraq has a way to go to tame its wild west image

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.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Reader Comments

Wed, Feb 17, 2010

It is like putting birdseed on the porch. You haul dump trucks full of 100 dollar bills into an area (like they did in Iraq, since there was no functioning financial system), and there will be a free-for-all.

Wed, Feb 17, 2010 M Reston, Va

Congress out of control in Washington says this contractor. (Are we aloowed to say that here?)

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