Press Release

Press Release: Pentagon’s Contracting Gurus Bungled Own Contracts, Internal Docs Show

Leak Investigation Launched into the Release of Documents

The agency responsible for managing trillions of dollars in Defense Department contracts is failing to do its job properly—putting taxpayer dollars at risk of waste and fraud—according to previously undisclosed records obtained by the Project On Government Oversight. The records are from an investigation of the Defense Contract Management Agency’s (DCMA) botched $45 million software project to improve its management of contracts elsewhere in the Defense Department.

At various points, internal documents obtained by POGO state that certain DCMA foul-ups related to its attempts to modernize its contract-administration software system indicate “a serious systemic problem within the organization,” and raise “serious concern over contracting practices and processes within DCMA.” The investigators found rampant violations of policies and law—including $17 million in unauthorized spending, violating the Antideficiency Act. Due to the severity of the problems uncovered, the investigator recommended that the agency be barred from awarding its own contracts in the future.

These previously unreported documents come on the heels of reports by the Defense Department’s inspector general over the last several years that were critical of the agency’s awarding, administration, and oversight of contracts.

After POGO requested comment from the agency, the agency launched a leak investigation into how POGO obtained the documents.

“Taxpayers shouldn’t sleep easy. The Pentagon’s contracting gurus can’t even properly manage their own contracts—raising profound questions about their oversight of trillions of dollars’ worth of other defense contracts,” said Danielle Brian, POGO’s executive director. “The leak investigation is a symptom of the agency’s misplaced priorities: It should focus on effectively protecting taxpayer dollars rather than persecuting whistleblowers.”

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Center for Defense Information at POGO