Pentagon overspent budget by $295 billion
An auditor's report presented to the US Congress this week reveals inefficient spending and missed deadlines.
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This is not about the waste of taxpayer dollars – already pushing a trillion – in funding the Iraq war, which, while reprehensible enough, pales in comparison to the big-ticket military systems purchased in the wake of 9/11.
Another recent government audit found that the Army had gaps in its soldiers' safety standards, USA Today reports. A Defense Department audit found that the Army couldn't be sure some of its body armor met safety standards.
The inspector general reviewed $5.2 billion worth of Army and Marine Corps contracts for body armor from 2004 through 2006.
"Specific information concerning testing and approval of first articles was not included in 13 of 28 Army contracts and orders reviewed, and contracting files were not maintained in 11 of 28 Army contracts to show why procurement decisions were made," the report concluded...
"This report indicates that nearly half of the Army's contractors did not perform the most basic test on the body armor before it was sent to our troops fighting overseas," [Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, (D) of New York, who asked for the report] said. "During a time of war, it's shameful that the Army would not scrupulously ensure that every piece of equipment is properly tested, especially a fundamentally life-and-death product such as body armor."
Previous government audits have also found major waste in contracts involving reconstruction efforts in Iraq, The Christian Science Monitor reported last year. The January 2007 report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction found that about $4.2 million of $43.8 million in US State Department funds spent on a residential camp adjacent to a new Iraq police academy wasn’t properly approved.
The Pentagon said it would respond to the most recent report about alleged overspending on weapons systems.
That time lag is forcing the military to keep equipment in use longer than planned, which is itself driving up costs, the report said...
A Pentagon spokesman said the department needs time to study the report before commenting.