The Department of Interior's inspector general found that lax procurement controls in one of the agency's contracting centers allowed information technology contracts to be misused to hire prison interrogators.
CACI International Inc. of Arlington and Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda were hired to provide interrogation support under umbrella contracts designed to give government agencies quick access to the companies' technology products and services.
The inspector general's report, released last night, blamed a "fee-for-service operation, where procurement personnel in their eagerness to enhance organization revenues have found shortcuts to federal procurement procedures."
Lockheed's employees were hired by the Navy for interrogation work at its base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. CACI provided interrogators to the Army in Iraq, and one of its employees was implicated in an Army report on abuses at Abu Ghraib prison.
Both contracts were awarded by the General Services Administration and managed by the Interior Department's National Business Center in Fort Huachuca, Ariz. The agency's inspector general, Earl E. Devaney, said a lack of oversight of procurement officials at the center contributed to the improper contracting.
Devaney recommended that the agency end contracts with CACI and Lockheed Martin that fall outside the scope of their intended purpose. He urged Interior to develop new policies and management controls.
Interior spokesman Frank Quimby said this week that Interior is going to "get out of the interrogation business." Calls to Quimby were not returned last night.
A GSA investigation of CACI's contract found that it was awarded improperly but cleared the company to continue doing business with the federal government.