Nov 02, 2015

Watchdog: $43 Million DOD Project Should Have Cost $300,000

Post by Mary Kate Hopkins

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has released a report detailing yet another instance of waste and mismanagement by the Pentagon.

The latest in a litany of wasteful spending programs comes out of Afghanistan, where the Department of Defense (DOD) hired a contractor to build a compressed natural gas station. The original contracted price was $3 million. Yet, between 2011 and 2014, the task force in charge of the project ended up spending $42.7 million, including $30 million for “overhead costs,” according to the report.

That is 140 times as much as it cost to build a similar station in Pakistan, which cost just over $300,000.

Following a recent U.S. Senate hearing on the matter, the DOD has until November 23 to deliver more answers, though that seems unlikely. The Pentagon has not disputed any of the facts in the IG’s report, but has said that the project’s task force had been closed and it does not have the personnel or documentation to show how and why the cost of the project skyrocketed.

This is yet another example of how the Pentagon’s budget and programming have ballooned to a point beyond control. When Congress continues to authorize enormous amounts of funding without implementing the proper oversight and accountability measures, taxpayer dollars will continue to be wasted on programs like this.