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NAPLES, Italy — A review of the military’s contracting agency showed employees not properly trained to manage billions of dollars in contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report released last week by the Defense Department’s inspector general.

Describing the Defense Contracting Management Agency as "reactive rather than proactive" in providing contractor oversight, the report said that of the 221 personnel records reviewed as part of the audit, 103 individuals lacked the required qualifications for the positions they held.

"As a result, DCMA is at high risk for not meeting its mission requirements in [Southwest Asia] to support overseas contracting operations," the report reads. "Also, the constant turnover of DCMA staff and lack of written plans results in gaps in the contractor oversight process."

The contracting agency disagreed with this conclusion.

"DCMA is accomplishing our contract oversight mission," according to a statement provided by agency spokeswoman Jacqueline Noble. "DCMA has aggressively taken steps to address the issues called out in the report and has improved processes to ensure each deployed military and civilian is trained and qualified to accomplish their in-theater jobs."

The agency said it has completed a review of duty descriptions for all in-theater positions, and that a complete records check is done prior to assigning someone to a position requiring certifications. It is also considering the IG’s recommendation to reduce the grace period allowed for employees to complete their certifications from two years to six months.

Problems with DCMA oversight aren’t new. The IG cited a 2009 report produced by the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. That report pointed to a lack of oversight, poorly written work statements and little competition among contractors as contributing to "billions of dollars in wasteful spending."

The report is available at www.dodig.mil/Audit/reports/fy10/10-051.pdf .

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