The press office of Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia) today announced the names of seven of the eight panelists on the Commission on Wartime Contracting. POGO has long supported this concept and is glad to see its progression into becoming reality.
Now the work really begins and not a moment too soon. Unlike the congressional foresight shown during World War II, where at the onset of war the Senate created the original Committee to Examine the National Defense Program (more popularly known as the Truman Committee), this new Commission begins its work about six years after our major conflicts abroad began.
It does have some help: Inspectors General, such as the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction and the Defense Department and State Inspectors General, and other oversight personnel like those at the Government Accountability Office, Defense Contract Audit Agency and Defense Contract Management Agency provide insight into the last several years. But even with this firepower - at its current level it is woefully inadequate - the massive level of contracting has led to a situation where there may be potentially thousands of criminal procurement fraud cases, according to House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (D-California).