Watchdog: State Department Can’t Fully Account for $6B Worth of Contracts

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

The State Department has a “serious” problem accounting for how it has spent billions of dollars on contracts all over the world, according to the official watchdog that oversees the sprawling department.

The Office of Inspector General, in a March 20 “management alert” to department leaders, said the department has failed to provide all or some of the files for $6 billion worth of contracts in the last six years.

“The failure to maintain contract files adequately creates significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions,” the memo said.

This apparently is not a new or isolated problem. The memo said investigators and auditors have found “repeated examples of poor contract file administration” and have called this one of the department’s “major management challenges” for several years.

The alert cited one example where contracting officials could not provide dozens of files for contracts supporting the U.S. Mission in Iraq. The value of the contracts in the missing files? $2.1 billion.

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