The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Carpinelli,(202) 481-1225

Dramatic Decline in Defense Contracting Fraud and Corruption Cases, Center Finds

While Pentagon contracts soared, investigations plummeted

number of defense contracting fraud and corruption cases sent by
government investigators to prosecutors dropped precipitously under the
Bush administration, even as contracting by the Defense Department
almost doubled, according to "Fraud Cases Fell While Pentagon Contracts Surged," a new investigative story by the Center for Public Integrity.
contracting grew from about $200 billion in fiscal year 1993 at the
start of the Clinton presidency to nearly $400 billion in fiscal year
2008 at the end of President George W. Bush's administration (1993
dollars adjusted for inflation to 2008 dollars). But Defense Department
investigators during the Bush administration sent 76 percent fewer
contracting fraud and corruption cases to the Justice Department for
potential criminal prosecution than under Clinton, according to Justice
Department data analyzed by the Center. Referral statistics from the
Federal Bureau of Investigation reflected a similar trend.
The drop
in prosecutions appears to be the result of regulatory and legislative
changes, shifting priorities and declining manpower and expertise. The
result, says William G. Dupree, a former top official of the Defense
Criminal Investigative Service, is that "no one is minding the store."
Organizational support for the Center is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Park Foundation, the Popplestone Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and many other generous institutional and individual donors.

The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy. We are committed to transparent and comprehensive reporting both in the United States and around the world.