A September 2007 State Department report, obtained by TPMmuckraker, found that contractors DynCorp and Blackwater can't account for $28.4 million in U.S. government-issued property in Afghanistan, including armored cars, guns and radios.
The report, prepared by the State Department inspector-general's office, hits the department for its lack of "adequate internal control over the government property held by contractors." It calls the property lists provided by State officials managing the contract in Afghanistan "incomplete and, therefore, unreliable." The $28.4 million worth of missing or poorly-documented property represents 21 percent of the government property held by DynCorp and Blackwater.
In some cases, the property has disappeared into a bureaucratic morass, thanks to State's improper bookkeeping. But in other cases, the property appears to be simply gone. For instance, the report finds:
OIG [the Office of the Inspector General] found all of the selected WPPS [Worldwide Personnel Protective Service] items on the property list but was unable to locate some of the items (see Table 3), including vehicles, a weapon, generators, computers, radios, and phones, on the Civilian Police and WRAP [Weapons Removal and Abatement Program] lists.
DynCorp holds the Civilian Police and WRAP contracts. The WPPS contract is held by Blackwater, and the report doesn't accuse Blackwater of mishandling government property. But it does say that Blackwater didn't include the cost of 91 percent of items on its property list reviewed by the inspector general. As a result, inspectors were unable to verify that the money cited by Blackwater for the purchase of "any of its vehicles and much of its communications equipment" was properly spent.
It wouldn't be the first time inspectors hit the department for inadequate bookkeeping. In October, Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, chided State for its inability to account for $1.2 billion it had awarded to DynCorp in Iraq.
TPMmuckraker obtained the September 2007 report thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request. We'll have it for you in our Documents Collection shortly. And we'll be presenting you with more from the report throughout the week.