By BRYAN RAHIJA
It's been almost four years since the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a scathing report on the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA)--a key contract oversight agency at the Pentagon--and it's time to ask ourselves whether taxpayers are better off as a result of the "improvements" implemented by DCAA.
If performing audits and saving taxpayer dollars is a measure of success, then the answer is a resounding no. As an article by government contract law professor Richard C. Loeb in the latest issue of Government Contract Costs, Pricing & Accounting Report outlines, DCAA has had a reduction of over 400 percent in audits completed in fiscal year 2011 since 2008—a reduction of nearly 23,000 reports per year. The reduction in audits represents almost $330 billion in contract costs going unaudited in FY 2011 alone—and that doesn't count the growing backlog from prior years.
Meanwhile, staffing levels at DCAA have actually increased since 2008.
According to Loeb, this output is unacceptable: