WASHINGTON, April 7 (RIA Novosti) – The US State Department will draw conclusions from a government investigation that has found that more than $6 billion has gone missing in contracts over the past six years, a source in the department told RIA Novosti Monday.
“Reports that there is a $6 billion that can’t be accounted for are grossly inaccurate. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report noted that there were a number of incomplete files for our contracts and that these contracts’ cumulative value was about $6 billion,” the source said.
The OIG report said the missing funds have uncovered vulnerabilities in the management of contract file documentation, which apparently had started before Hillary Clinton became the US Secretary of State in 2009.
“The failure to maintain contract files adequately creates significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department's contract actions,” said the alert, which was published on March 20 but made public only this week.
This situation “creates conditions conducive to fraud, as corrupt individuals may attempt to conceal evidence of illicit behavior by omitting key documents from the contract file,” the report said.
Contracts related to the war in Iraq, for instance, could not be found in 33 out of 115 instances, according to the report.
A State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said that this is a "bureaucratic issue" rather than an accounting issue. “It’s not that we’ve lost $6 billion, basically,” she said adding that the US State Department is taking steps to remedy.
A spokesman for the OIG, Douglas Welty, has refused to give further details on the issue. “The report speaks for itself,” he told RIA Novosti.