Panel: Widespread waste and fraud in war spending amounts to $60b.

As much as $60 billion in U.S. tax dollars has…

As much as $60 billion in U.S. tax dollars has been lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade due to lax oversight of contractors, poor planning and corruption, according to an independent panel.

In its final report to Congress, to be publicly released Wednesday, the Commission on Wartime Contracting said the waste could grow as U.S. support for reconstruction projects and programs wanes, leaving Iraq and Afghanistan to bear the long-term costs of sustaining the schools, medical clinics, barracks, roads and power plants already built with American money.

Government agencies should overhaul the way they award and manage contracts in war zones so they don’t repeat the mistakes made in Iraq and Afghanistan, the commission said. Among the report’s 15 recommendations are the creation of an inspector general to monitor contracting and the appointment of a senior government official to improve planning and coordination.

Source: Richard Lardner for the Associated Press.

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