A document compiled at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman of California, confirms that federal contracts are now the fastest growing component of federal discretionary spending. The Government Accountability Office and the Defense Contract Audit Agency were two of the agencies whose 500 reports, audits and investigations were used to compile the report.
Procurement spending increased by 86% between 2000 and 2005, meaning that it has increased more than twice as fast as other federal discretionary spending. According to Waxman, overcharging–in terms of both error and fraud–has occurred frequently. 118 contracts worth $745.5 billion have been found to include waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement.
Last year alone, Lockheed Martin received contracts worth more than the combined budgets of the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior, the Small Business Administration, and the U.S. Congress. But the big winner, to no one’s surprise, was Halliburton, whose contracts increased 600% from 2000 to 2005.
In 2004, Department of Defense Inspector General’s auditors were removed from Iraq, so as of the end of 2005, $140 billion worth of spending was not being monitored. You may recall that Halliburton lost $9 billion, which has yet to be accounted for.