WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is calling on the State Department to take additional steps to cut down on waste after a recent 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.
“Paying someone for a job before you verify they did it is a recipe for disaster,” McCaskill said. “We’ve got to hold government contractors accountable so that Missourian’s hard-earned taxpayer dollars aren’t going to waste.”
A recent State Department Office of the Inspector General audit found that the department failed to properly oversee All Native, Inc.’s $15 million contract. “Given the need for oversight of foreign assistance programs in Iraq, I urge the Department to take prompt action to address the Inspector General’s recent findings and recommendations,” McCaskill wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The Inspector General found that the State Department made over $3 million in payments to All Native, Inc. without the necessary materials—such as timesheets—to prove that the contractor had completed the work they claimed to have done. In addition, the audit identified other issues, including that the State Department often unnecessarily delayed implementing contract modifications that would ensure the contract’s expenses did not exceed the planned budget.
McCaskill is a leading voice in the Senate for saving taxpayer dollars through contracting reform and oversight. McCaskill waged a successful six-year effort to crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse in wartime contracting. She has also successfully expanded whistleblower protections—which help to identify waste, fraud, and abuse—to government contractors, subcontractors, and others who the federal government directly or indirectly hires through bipartisan bills that have been signed into law. She also partnered with Senators Johnson and Grassley to pass a bill further empowering inspectors general to conduct oversight targeting waste, fraud, and abuse.
Read McCaskill’s letter to Secretary Tillerson HERE.