Top contractor Lockheed got contracts larger than budget of Congress,
Dept. of Interior
A new report claims that a "shadow government" of federal
contractors has exploded in size over the last five years.
compiled at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and distributed to RAW
STORY, indicates that procurement spending increased by over $175 billion
between 2000 and 2005, making federal contracts the fastest growing component
of federal discretionary spending.
500 reports, audits and investigations by government and independent bodies,
including the Government Accountability Office and the Defense Contract Audit
Agency, were used to compile the data.
That spending increase -- an astonishing 86 percent -- puts total US federal
procurement at $377.5 billion annually. The increase means spending on federal
contracts has grown more than two times as fast as other forms of discretionary
Nearly $800b in contracts questioned
Waxman claims that overcharging -- by mistake or outright fraud -- has been
a frequent occurrance. In all, the report identifies 118 federal contracts worth
$745.5 billion that have been found by government officials to include significant
waste, fraud, abuse or mismanagement.
Each of the Bush Administration's three signature initiatives -- Homeland Security,
the Iraq war and reconstruction in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina recovery -- has
been linked to wasteful contract spending.
Spending is categorized in the report as highly concentrated on a few large
contractors, with the five largest contractors receiving over 20 percent of
contract dollars awarded in 2005. Last year, the largest federal contractor,
Lockheed Martin, received contracts worth more than the total combined budgets
of the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior, the Small Business
Administration and the U.S. Congress.
But the fastest growing contractor under the Bush Administration has
been Halliburton. Federal spending on Halliburton contracts shot up an astonishing
600% between 2000 and 2005.
Waxman plans to make all 118 "problem contracts" available on the
Internet as part of a searchable database with Internet links to government
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