In a “management alert” released publicly April 3rd, State Department Inspector General (IG) Steve Linick said that the “lack of internal control at the department” has led to the loss of $6 billion in the last six years.
The Fiscal Times reports, “The State Department has no idea what happened to $6 billion used to pay its contractors.”
To demonstrate the “repeated examples of poor contract file administration,” the IG pointed to “the closeout process for contracts supporting the mission in Iraq.” Those auditing this process “couldn’t find 33 of the 115 contract files.” These 33 files alone add up to $2.1 billion.
Of the contract files they did find, more than half included documents that did not fully comply with federal mandates.
Those who audited the State Department said:
[This] creates conditions conducive to fraud, as corrupt individuals may attempt to conceal evidence of illicit behavior by omitting key documents from the contract file. It impairs the ability of the Department to take effective and timely action to protect its interests, and, in turn, those of taxpayers.