Here lies one of the crucial news topics that may never be probed by a hard-hitting, progressive independent news outlet if TNS is unable to reach its pledge goal...
Part of our job as reporters is subscribing to â€“ and digging through â€“ a lot of government email notices looking for that next big story. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) sends out daily updates listing 2 to 3 new reports almost every day, in addition to official correspondence and testimony. Though TNS is deep in fundraising mode, weâ€™re still scanning for that gem of a story buried in a government report, and on Monday, the GAO delivered one.
From the first sentence of the GAO summary:
Defense Contract Audit Agency audit reports issued between February 2003 and February 2006 identified $2.1 billion in questioned costs and $1.4 billion in unsupported costs on Iraq contracts.
The GAO also found that for about $600 million in questioned costs, "DOD contracting officials determined that the contractor should be paid for all but $38 million."
Hmmm. Three-and-a-half billion dollars in questionable and unsupported costs and many of the invoices are still being paid? Though contracting abuses have received a decent amount of coverage, including an article last week by TNS, this seems to merit some prominence on our regular news sites, right?
Guess again. A Google news search didnâ€™t elicit any results besides a comment on the Washington Post blog quoting a column published on the Huffington Post. Had TNS been reporting this week, you would have read about this story here in a thoroughly examined, questioned and vetted fashion. So, put us back to work doing what you count on TNS to do â€“ finding and telling the stories disregarded by other media.
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