In past presidential elections, candidates often have vowed to “clean up Washington” and downsize the “bloated” federal bureaucracy. That anti-government mindset ultimately left military agencies ill-equipped and under-staffed to properly oversee wartime contracting, said acting undersecretary of the Army Nelson M. Ford. Abuses and corruption in wartime contracts, especially for Iraq reconstruction and other projects, is a problem that was “a decade or more in the making,” Ford said.
Now the Army is trying to repair the damage. The service plans to recruit hundreds of contracting officers at an annual cost of $110,000 per person. But in the end the Army will save money because government workers cost much less than contractors for the same work, Ford said.
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