At What Risk? Correcting Over-Reliance on Contractors in Contingency Operations   [open pdf - 20MB]

"Federal reliance on contractors to support defense, diplomatic, and development missions during contingency operations stands at unprecedented levels. Over the course of the past nine years, contractors have at times exceeded the number of military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. Total spending through contracts is correspondingly large. While there is no central federal source for definitive data on contracts and grants regarding contingency operations, the Commission's conservative estimate is that since October 2001, at least $177 billion has been obligated on contracts and grants to support U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Given the magnitude of mission and money at risk, losses from waste, fraud, and abuse represent a significant cost. While the impact on mission cannot be readily quantified, misspent dollars run into the tens of billions. […] In At what risk? Correcting over-reliance on contractors in contingency operations, our second interim report to Congress, we are making recommendations that we believe do both. Finally, these recommendations require an investment that the U.S. government must make as it continues to rely on contractors as part of the total force in contingency operations. Our recommendations rest on the following findings, supported by the Commission's information gathering in more than 900 meetings and briefings, a series of trips to theater, our full-time staff presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, reports by other audit agencies, and testimony received in 19 Commission hearings."

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United States. Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan: http://www.wartimecontracting.gov/
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