Massive Backlog of Defense Contract Audits

Friday, May 25, 2012
Four years ago, the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) was admonished by Congress’ watchdog agency to improve its performance, which presumably meant doing more work rather than less.
DCAA apparently thought the opposite.
In fiscal year 2008, DCAA performed 30,352 audits of defense projects that covered about $458 billion in taxpayer money. Three years later, the agency had only carried out 7,390 audits worth $129 billion—even though DCAA had increased its staffing levels during this time period from 4,200 employees to 4,777.
Consequently, DCAA’s backlog has grown to the point where by 2016 it will be behind on almost $1 trillion worth of projects, most of them relating to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In a scathing critique of the agency, professor Richard C. Loeb at the University of Baltimore School of Law wrote: “Contractors no longer need to lobby for these reductions in audit oversight. DCAA has now done it to itself. It is unfathomable how anyone would think that potentially building a backlog of audits of over $1 trillion is acceptable. It is unfathomable how anyone would think that a reduction of over 20,000 audits performed per year during the last three years is acceptable.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
DCAA—Is Anyone Home? (by Richard C. Loeb, Government Contract Costs, Pricing & Accounting Report) (pdf)
Backlog of Unaudited Pentagon Contract Costs Could Reach $1 Trillion (by Bryan Rahija, Project on Government Oversight)

Defense Contractor Audits Decline (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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