Commission on Wartime Contracting

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Hearing May 24, 2010

How good is our system for curbing contract waste, fraud, and abuse?

The May 24 hearing of the Commission on Wartime Contracting included two panels. The first reviewed the challenges and issues that confront law-enforcement officials as they attempt to discover and successfully prosecute fraud in a contingency environment. The second updated the Commission on the work of the Inspectors General for USAID, State, and Defense since they appeared at our February 2009 hearing.

The first panel included representatives of criminal investigative organizations and the Department of Justice. The witnesses reported on their successes and challenges related to investigating and prosecuting wartime contracting fraud. Key themes included coordination among criminal investigative organizations and Department of Justice prosecutors; challenges in preparing successful criminal prosecutions in a war zone; and policy actions that need to be taken to prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute fraud in contingency environments.

The Commission explored the need for anti-fraud initiatives and actions, unity of effort among federal agencies, recognition that many peacetime ways do not work in wartime, balancing between accelerated contracting and appropriate safeguards, and greater accountability.

The witnesses on panel 1 were Assistant Inspector General Raymond J. DiNunzio from the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Deputy Inspector General Ginger Cruz from the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Assistant Director Kevin L. Perkins of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, and Deputy Inspector General James Burch of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service in the Department of Defense.

The second panel provided an update on the USAID, State, and DOD IGs’ activities over the past year; the key issues for the coming year; and the extent of, trends in, and steps needed to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse related to contracting in the current and future contingencies.

The witnesses on panel 2 were Inspector General Donald A. Gambatesa of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Acting Inspector General Harold W. Geisel of the Department of State, and Deputy Inspector General for Auditing Mary Ugone of the Department of Defense, who discussed her new report on reforming contingency contracting.


Opening statements:

Press release: CWC Press Release #26
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