WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Friday commented on the latest report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. The report – titled “Iraq Security Forces Fund: Weak Contract Oversight Allowed Potential Overcharges by AECOM to go Undetected” – showed that the contractor hired by the U.S. government to provide support to the Iraqi Army could not support 14 percent of costs examined by SIGIR. An examination of four particular invoices identified $4 million in potential overbillings. In one instance, the contractor, AECOM, billed the Government $196 for bags of washers that should have been $1.22 each. To date, the U.S. government has paid $567 million under the contract.
"I hope we have not returned to the days of $435 hammers and $640 toilet seats,” Lieberman said. “Yet, despite volumes of audits and investigations identifying the waste and fraud that flows from weak Department of Defense contract oversight, the Department still doesn’t have the personnel and procedures in place to hold contractors accountable. These lapses waste precious taxpayer dollars, undermine the confidence of the American people in our execution of the reconstruction program, and set a poor example for the Iraqi people on how to administer a government program. I intend to press the U.S. Army Contracting Command to find out why this contract was such a mess, and what they intend to do to clean it up."