WASHINGTON – During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill continued to seek answers on over $50 million in questionable costs billed to taxpayers—including luxury cars—under a federal contract for mentoring and training the Afghan security forces, known as Legacy East. At the hearing, top Army officials committed to providing key information to McCaskill as part of her ongoing investigation.
Click HERE to watch McCaskill’s questioning at today’s hearing.
“I began oversight on the Legacy Program beginning way back in October 2012, and as you all know the Legacy Program is a very expensive American effort to build the intelligence capacity of Afghanistan and Iraq—we are now very engaged in an investigation into parts of this contract,” McCaskill said. “Please tell me that a Senator 20 years from now is not going to be sitting here and going, ‘How in the world are taxpayers paying for Alfa Romeos and Bentleys.’”
McCaskill’s questions at today’s hearing are part of her ongoing investigation that she launched last year on the “Legacy East” contract that left taxpayers on the hook for millions in questionable costs, including seven luxury vehicles. During the hearing, McCaskill asked for additional information, including a list of current contracts and subcontracts for the contractor under investigation, as well as their performance assessments. General Mark Milley, Army Chief of Staff, told McCaskill, “We’ll get you the information…We owe you answers.”
The contract was intended to provide counterinsurgency intelligence experts to mentor and train the Afghan security forces. A Defense Contract Audit Agency’s review of the contract revealed that a subcontractor billed over $50 million in questionable costs to the Army between 2008 and 2013. The agency conducted its review in part because McCaskill had previously demanded answers after an earlier audit of the contract by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction revealed millions of dollars in questionable costs.
McCaskill is a leading voice in the Senate for saving taxpayer dollars through contracting reform and oversight. She previously waged a successful six-year effort to crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse in wartime contracting. Earlier this year, McCaskill called for accountability after a report found rampant waste in a now-shuttered Defense Department program that obligated over $675 million to assist with Afghanistan economic projects. McCaskill last year demanded answers after a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction report found that six projects in Afghanistan costing almost $400 million are at risk of failure. She also called for answers after a report showed that the State Department routinely paid a contractor to oversee foreign assistance programs in Iraq without properly verifying the contractor’s claimed costs and expenses.