WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has greatly expanded
the use of contracts with private companies to provide public goods and services even as the number of government employees
has increased, a congressional report has found. But the administration's tilt
toward doing business with private companies has failed to
bring promised savings and has been characterized by "waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement," according
to the report released this week by Rep. Henry Waxman of California, the top Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee.
Of particular concern, the report said, were contracts related to homeland security, the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina recovery.
Waxman's report is described as the first comprehensive assessment
of contracting under the Bush administration, which had vowed upon taking office in January 2001 to provide services more
efficiently while reducing the size of government. It reveals an 86 percent increase in contracts with private businesses,
from $203 billion in 2000 to $377.5 billion a year in 2005 — nearly double the growth of federal spending as a whole. At the same time, federal payrolls also have grown: The government now has about 1,874,000
civilian employees, up from 1,738,000 five years ago.
40 cents of every dollar appropriated goes to private contractors, which is a record level," Waxman said. Yet, Waxman said, his biggest concern
is not the growth in contracts, but the abuse of them. Poor planning and weak
oversight, the report said, have led to government overspending and corruption by companies that have padded their invoices,
charged for services not provided and received award fees for jobs that were completed late.
In June of 06, the Republicans voted
not to investigate or oversee the federal contractors in Iraq or Afghanistan—jk.