Washington may press for tougher audits of defense contractors

11/9/2008 | San Diego Union-Tribune

The Pentagon's budget watchdog for weapons spending has become too cozy with the companies it regulates, according to critics. The Defense Contract Audit Agency, charged with monitoring contractors' books to guard against cost overruns, has not used its subpoena authority in two decades and does not keep records on withholding payments to force compliance. It saves taxpayers only $5 per $1 spent, compared to $94 for the Government Accountability Office. Lawmakers may seek to beef up DCAA's authority. "I start salivating thinking about how much money is involved and the savings that are potentially there," says Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

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