(American Conservative) -- The Pentagon is often described as a black hole of government spending. Just how bad is it these days? The Defense Department spent $21 billion in taxpayer money over two years without telling anyone what services were rendered or which companies benefitted.
Normally, watchdog groups can at least identify the agency’s frivolous spending and tease out who the major beneficiaries are. But under something called Other Transaction Authority (OTA), the Pentagon can award money without the usual disclosures or due diligence normally required of federal contracts. Voila! A black hole.
Officials claim that OTA helps the the Department of Defense (DoD) court smaller, non-traditional contractors in places like Silicon Valley by avoiding some of the burdens of a more restrictive competitive bidding process. But loosely written rules and a lack of required congressional communication make OTAs Trojan horses for unaccountable spending that benefits some of the DoD’s most entrenched contractors.
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