WaPo: Inspector General Issues Alert Over $6 Billion In Missing State Dept. Money

Originally published at the Washington Post.

The State Department’s inspector general has warned the department that $6 billion in contracting money over the past six years cannot be properly accounted for and cited “significant financial risk and . . . a lack of internal control.”

The warning was the second “management alert” in State Department history, both issued by new Inspector General Steve Linick. Linick took over the job in late September, after it had been vacant for nearly six years.

Both the alert, dated March 20, and the department’s response a week later, were made public Thursday.

The department said it concurred in all recommendations and outlined steps it will take to address what it agreed is a “vulnerability.”

Linick initiated the alert format to report on problems that remain unaddressed despite repeatedly being identified in IG audits and investigations. The first alert, released in January in partly classified form, cited “significant and recurring weaknesses in the Department of State Information System Security Program.”

Issued three years after the public release of hundreds of thousands of department cables, which then-Army Pvt. Bradley Manning had turned over to WikiLeaks, the first alert found that efforts to find and fix the problems had been insufficient.

The new alert addressed a similarly sensitive issue: the government’s inability to keep track of the growing number of outside contractors who have taken the place of government workers. A series of special government and congressional investigations has identified widespread contracting fraud in both the State and Defense departments, especially in overseas expenditures.

A succession of IG audits, investigations and inspections, the report said, found “repeated examples of poor contract file administration.” Among the examples it cited was a recent audit of the “closeout process for contracts supporting the U.S. mission in Iraq.” When auditors asked for a sample of 115 contract files, officials were unable to provide 33 of them, totaling $2.1 billion. Of the remaining 82, the report said, 48 contained insufficient documents required by federal law.

During an ongoing audit of State’s Bureau of African Affairs, the report said, officials did not provide complete files for any of the eight contracts reviewed, with a value of $34.8 million.

Two task orders valued at more than $1 billion, part of an Afghanistan contract under the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, were incomplete, as were task orders for protective services in Afghanistan worth an additional $1 billion.

In one IG investigation, a contract file lacked documentation reflecting that the $52 million contract had been modified and awarded to “a company owned by the spouse of a contractor employee.” In another, a file for a contract valued at $100 million “was not properly maintained and for a period of time was hidden” by the contracting officer.

Such failure, the IG said, “exposes the Department to significant financial risk and makes . . . oversight more difficult. It creates conditions conducive to fraud . . . [and] impairs the ability” of the government to protect its interests and “to punish and deter criminal behavior.”

When President Obama nominated Linick last summer, the inspector general’s office had been vacant since January 2008, longer than that of any other federal department in history.

Linick had served for three years in the same position at the Federal Housing Finance Agency. A former federal prosecutor, he also served in senior positions at the Justice Department, where he supervised and participated in fraud cases involving white-collar criminals, including corruption and contract fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read more at the Washington Post.

 

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23 Comments

  • Wayasti Adovdo says:

    January 17, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    How did poor folks (Clintons) with no resources other than politics amass $300 million ? CRIME and CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR

  • john lindsay says:

    January 17, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    Where’s James Rosen on this story. WaPo has the story?? Fox?? Will WaPo pursue?

  • b says:

    January 17, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    Only to sell books—-no proof of anything——otherwise known as hogwash.

  • Pumpuiyai says:

    January 17, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money. 😀

  • Betty Pringle says:

    January 17, 2016 at 4:17 PM

    If there is any sign of a loophole or a way to grab money from anybody, the Clinton’s are right there to take advantage of the situation. Bill Clinton will schmooze with anyone to get what he wants out of them, i.e., MONEY, VOTES OR SEX and TV hosts still say Bill Clinton is still beloved by people. How the Clinton’s have managed to stay out of jail or prison with all their 25-30 years of constant corruption is beyond me. I wish some Judge could tell us why they have managed to not suffer any consequences for their corrupt behavior.

    • David says:

      January 22, 2016 at 3:08 AM

      The overspending in America…In my very modest,politically ignorant view.I am so sad that WASHINGTON does everything so ass backwards.Our so called LEADERS of the people do

      everything to be a sprocket in the MACHINE of GLUTINOUS, GREEDY, SELF SERVING, HEARTLESS WAR MONGORS. Damn it I’m factless, finger-pointing like your dumb ass.Can we at least treat the traitors who steal from us all responsible.If your caught selling away calendarAmerica.Then fill up our prisons with them.Release the non violent prisoners to their family’s.Then interogate these so called war contractors like they are terrorist’s.Kill the non confessing first. AMERICA needs a deushing of the white collared sell-outs.Can we all quit labelling ourselves as “left-wing, bleading heart,Democrats” OR “fat overfed greedy no-heart Republicans”. Lets agree to be one people.Americans.No more ignorance of our brother’s and sister’s.I know its a fantasy to think that the stratosfication and caste system of the rich and poor.The black and white.the righteous and ignorant. but we have to know,we have to STOP now.PRAY for us all if we dont try to STOP and humbly change.

  • james buchanan says:

    January 17, 2016 at 4:40 PM

    Yeah , that sounds like a lot , but I’m waiting for the investigation into the $8.5 trillion dollars of waste and fraud at the Pentagon . The day before 911 , Sept. 10 , Donald Rumsfeld had announced that there was over $2.6 trillion dollars in waste and fraud at the Pentagon , then 911 happened and everyone conveniently forgot about it . Then recently it was announced that figure had grown to $8.5 trillion dollars , in WASTE and FRAUD ! The whole government is a shell game and we the people are the suckers born every minute ! Now , they have us almost on the bottom , where there is just the wealthy and everyone else and that is what they are trying to do , with the help of politicians in Washington , with republicans being deepest in the pockets of the oligarchs ! The wealthy contribute far more to republican candidates than democrats but that doesn’t let democrats off the hook ! Do you want to be ‘off the hook’ ? Vote for Bernie Sanders , the only candidate with the courage to speak truth to power and who does not take money from billionaires ! Bernie Sanders 2016 , the true grassroots candidate !

    • ZP says:

      January 18, 2016 at 2:59 AM

      Good comment, but I would argue Rand Paul over Sanders. But either of those guys would be better for the people. They rest are serving the Oligarchs.

  • Allen Hemphill says:

    January 17, 2016 at 5:08 PM

    B exactly what is “hogwash?” Is it the IG Report? Is it the desire to find the $6 billion? (Is that too little $ to be concerned with?) Is it the call to further investigate?

    • Jim says:

      February 4, 2016 at 7:36 PM

      6 B amounts to $184 man, woman and child.

  • Without representati says:

    January 17, 2016 at 11:25 PM

    Maybe they spent it all on lottery tickets and they can start a go fund me page to recoup the money.

  • Don Hart says:

    January 18, 2016 at 10:31 PM

    Circumstantial evidence clearly indicates a “Zero Sum” disorder of sorts. Everything being equal, the growth of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is a tidy match for the missing State Department funds under Hillary’s fiduciary control.

  • rm says:

    January 19, 2016 at 12:02 AM

    Check the Moslem Brotherhood.

  • Emory Griffis says:

    January 19, 2016 at 6:12 AM

    Here’s a prime example of the manner in which the Clinton’s conduct business and get rich: Following the 2009 Haitian earthquake, The Clinton Global Foundation issued a call worldwide for donations to help rebuild houses for those left homeless by the quake. Over $9,000,000 poured in, donated by those wishing to help and trusting the Clinton’s to build houses in Haiti for the homeless. As of 2016, the Clinton’s have built approximately one house. Seven years later, the remainder of the $8,999,995.00 in donation’s is either unaccounted for, or written off as “overhead and administration fees”.

  • Emory Griffis says:

    January 19, 2016 at 6:24 AM

    Edit to above comment: Too early in the morning to not be using my calculator. The final dollar amount should be $8,995,000 and reflect an outlay of $5,000 for the one house and should read: “Seven years later, the remainder of the $8,995,000 in donation’s….”

  • Zoe Billigmeier says:

    January 19, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    “Creates conditions conducive to fraud”. Ya think?.. does the phrase “CLOSE ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK ” come to mind?

  • MIGirl says:

    January 20, 2016 at 11:33 PM

    As someone who managed outside vendors and contractors throughout my career I continue to be astonished by the extreme incompetence displayed by government bureaucrats. They always use excuses like “The contracts are too big to oversee closely” or, “We have to manage people and contractors in far flung places,” but I gotta tell you, if I went even 10% over budget on a project, I had better be able to explain where every penny went. Frankly, I had to know where every penny went for things that were within budget as well. Managing my budget responsibly was my JOB! If I could not do that, I did not deserve to be in a position that required budget responsibility. If our CEO had a year where we LOST $6 Billion, he would be gone. But they aren’t even talking about profit and loss, they seem to be talking about freaking misplacing $6 BILLION taxpayer dollars and nobody seems to be able to answer for where that money went.

  • NVRAT says:

    January 21, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Money Laundering comes to mind here. Seems the Saudis and the Clinton family has close connections here. I wonder?

  • Samuel Ortiz says:

    January 21, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    Corruption at many levels. MONEY And … .FAVORS ….The circle of corruption. ….

  • Methodevil says:

    January 22, 2016 at 10:11 AM

    When will the we the people turn over the tables of this american temple??? the washington bubble will soon pop!!!!! 500 billion in over spending this year alone. 21 trillion in debt and the privately owned federal reserve stock holders get 6%. methodevil is money. money is methodevil.

  • marys palmer says:

    January 30, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    IMPEACH THE MARXIST MUSLIM POS

  • Ken Knerr says:

    January 31, 2016 at 12:33 AM

    They’ll just call it Hillary’s legal defense fund.

  • Andrea Grima says:

    January 31, 2016 at 11:04 PM

    IT NEVER END’S WITH HER…LIE’S…… STEALING……..MURDER….