The beleaguered reputation of the intelligence community took another hit recently when the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community revealed numerous cases of fraud and other issues within the community.
In a report by the intelligence community’s inspector general, Charles McCullough III, a total of 75 investigations were conducted between July 1, 2012 and March 31. McCullough’s office completed 26 investigations that substantiated violations of criminal law or administrative regulations and 29 inquiries remain open.
One instance involved an Office of National Intelligence (ODNI) employee who “was operating a personal website on Government time using Government systems through which he solicited and received donations.” Another ODNI employee “allegedly engaged in unauthorized contacts with foreign nationals and attempted to improperly obtain a security clearance for a private citizen.”
The inspector general said the increase in cases is due to his agency’s “initiative to proactively identify false billings by ODNI contractors.” The agency increased the recurring data available for analysis and ran a data interrogation program that found possible fraud.
Nearly 25 of the open investigations were for false claims for hours worked, the report said. Another 23 were cases that involved contractors who overcharged for work performed. For instance, a subcontractor overcharged 1,691 hours for “a business for horse saddle padding,” the report stated.
In another instance, a contractor billed for 700 hours of labor not performed during a 14-month period. Plus, the contractor used government computer systems up to six hours a day for personal use for online courses taught at a local university.
The Inspector General said more than $1 million can be recovered for cases that involved “labor mischarging”.
McCullough wrote that he and the Defense Department’s inspector general are conducting a joint review on “the disciplinary actions taken in response to misconduct substantiated by the IG.” This began in July 2012 after being requested by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
McCullough told Congress recently that his office lacked the resources to perform an investigation of NSA surveillance programs.
“While my office has the jurisdiction to conduct an IC-wide review of all IC elements using these authorities,” McCullough wrote in a letter. “Such a review will implicate ongoing oversight efforts. Therefore, I have been conferring with several IC Inspectors General Forum members in order to consider how such a review might be accomplished given the potential impact to IG resources and ongoing projects.”