Another interesting morsel from State's 2005 inspector-general audit of Blackwater. Apparently the company billed the State Department for five armored vehicles that the contracting officer said were unnecessary -- and then double-billed State for the cost of the drivers.
As part of its proposed equipment costs, Blackwater included costs equating to [redacted] to purchase five armored vehicles plus operating expenses to be used to transport personnel to and from Baghdad Airport in Iraq. ... We discussed this with the contracting officer, who indicated that the contractor was not required to purchase these vehicles as they are not called for in the statement of work. Our review of the statement of work also did not disclose a requirement for these vehicles. ...
Blackwater also included costs equating to [redacted] operate these vehicles. Our review disclosed that these "drivers" are the protective security specialists deployed in Iraq. The cost for these personnel is already being recovered in the daily rates being proposed. As a result, inclusion of additional costs for drivers in dedicated overhead is, in effect, a duplication of labor costs.
That's bureaucratese for "Dude! They're ripping you off! Are you just going to take
that?" And the State Department, like an abused child, just shrugs and hands over its lunch money.
Unfortunately, the 2005 audit does not indicate whether Blackwater threw any D's
on its new vehicles.