Despite sweeping legislative and department changes over the past five years, progress on the Defense Department’s systems acquisition and contracting management remain basically stagnant on the Government Accountability Office’s 2019 High-Risk List of areas that are most vulnerable to waste, fraud and abuse.
The list, released last Wednesday, states efforts to shore up problems with DoD weapons systems acquisition remain “unchanged” since GAO’s last high-risk list in 2017. GAO made the same assessment of the Pentagon’s contract management issues, though with a few positive caveats.
The two items on the high-risk list account for almost $2 trillion in taxpayer funds — about $1.66 trillion in investments of 86 major weapons systems and $300 billion in annual contracted services for the Pentagon. Both of the items have been on GAO’s high-risk list since the early 1990s.
At the same time, GAO points out that the government’s inability to address climate change is causing national security issues and will cost DoD more money.