This post was originally published on the Public Notice: Bankrupting America Blog.
In a blow to conspiracy theorists, the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG) highlighted astronomical Army overspending on Boeing replacement parts without reference to Area 51.
Actor Judd Hirsch satirized sole-source contracting in the holiday blockbuster Independence Day (1996) by implying that expensive hammers and toilet seats masked funding for the secret installation.
But in an OIG audit released in full by the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), there is only criticism for overcharges that “range from 33.3 percent” to the near unfathomable “177,475 percent for mundane parts.”
All told, the Army spent $13 million above market price on replacement parts purchased through Boeing, many of which were readily available through the Defense Logistics Agency, the DoD internal supplier. OIG and POGO contend that better internal inventory practices and informed price negotiations will eliminate such excessive overspending.
With our national debt standing at $14.3 trillion, and defense cuts considered as part of the debt ceiling debate, the Army and the Department of Defense should heed the OIG findings to avoid wasting “hundreds of millions of [taxpayer] dollars” in the years to come.