State Department Not Totally Sure Where it Spent Six Billion Dollars

The State Department has no paperwork to account for about six billion dollars that it gave out in contracts over the last six years.

State Department Inspector General Steve Linick released the report, citing "significant financial risk and... a lack of internal control," last month, but was only made public this week.

Linick began by asking the State Department for samples of files from contracts made by different bureaus. The results were dismal.

Of 155 contract files requested from State Department operations in Iraq, officials could only provide 34 complete files. Forty-eight files contained legally insufficient information, and the remaining 33 contract files—worth $2.1 billion alone—were deemed missing.

The Bureau of African affairs was even worse—officials could not provide complete files for any of eight requested contracts worth nearly $35 million. In Afghanistan, two task orders worth more than $1 billion, were incomplete.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf called the unaccounted-for $6 billion a "bureaucratic issue" that the department is addressing.

But the report also found some obvious fraud:

In one IG investigation, a contract file lacked documentation reflecting that the $52 million contract had been modified and awarded to "a company owned by the spouse of a contractor employee." In another, a file for a contract valued at $100 million "was not properly maintained and for a period of time was hidden" by the contracting officer.

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