The number of defense contracting fraud and corruption cases sent by government investigators to prosecutors dropped precipitously under the Bush administration, even as contracting by the Defense Department almost doubled, says the Center for Public Integrity. Defense contracting doubled to $400 billion between the beginning of the Clinton administration and the end of Bush’s. Defense Department investigators during the Bush years sent 76 percent fewer contracting fraud and corruption cases to the Justice Department for potential criminal prosecution than under Clinton. Referral statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation reflected a similar trend.
The center says the drop in prosecutions appears to be the result of regulatory and legislative changes, shifting priorities, and declining manpower and expertise. The result, says William Dupree, a former top official of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, is that “no one is minding the store.”