Statement of Charles Lewis, Executive Director

The Center for Public Integrity's executive director explains Outsourcing the Pentagon

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Good morning. The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that does investigative reporting and research on public policy issues in the United States and around the world. Since 1990 the Center has produced more than 250 investigative reports and 13 books. In the past seven years, the Center's work has been honored 26 times by the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and other respected organizations.

The Center is funded by foundations and individuals and the sale of our publications. We do not accept advertising or contributions from companies, labor unions, governments or political parties. We do not take positions or lobby on specific policy or legislative matters. The names of our major donors and other information about the Center are available on our award-winning Web site, www.publicintegrity.org. We gratefully acknowledge support for this project today from the Town Creek Foundation, the New York Community Trust—Everett Philanthropic Fund, and Vincent Ryan.

Late last year, after utilizing 20 researchers, writers and editors over six months, filing 73 Freedom of Information Act requests and even suing the Army and the State Department, we issued a report entitled Windfalls of War, which chronicled and posted online all of the available major Pentagon and State Department contracts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The report, since updated four times, won the prestigious George Polk award. Substantively, it placed the large, controversial contracts won by Halliburton and its subsidiaries in overall context, definitively revealing that Vice President Dick Cheney's former company has been awarded by far the most taxpayer money in Iraq and Afghanistan, sometimes with no bidding. The report also documented how Halliburton and all of the top 10 Iraq/Afghanistan U.S. contractors have also been major political influence players in Washington, spending millions of dollars on campaign contributions and lobbying.

Tracking the Iraq and Afghanistan contracts whetted our appetite to go both broader and deeper, which brings us to this morning. Today we are releasing an exhaustive, unprecedented Center report entitled, Outsourcing the Pentagon: Who's Winning the Big Contracts. For the past nine months, a team of 23 researchers, writers and editors, led by project manager and respected author Larry Makinson, has examined more than 2.2 million contract actions totaling $900 billion in authorized expenditures over the six-year period from fiscal year 1998 through fiscal 2003 (Oct. 1, 1997—Sept. 30, 2003). Our prime source was the Pentagon's own publicly available but obscure procurement databases.

From that, we identified and have profiled online the biggest Defense Department contractors—all 737 of them, including several thousand of their subsidiaries and affiliates—who have received at least $100 million in contracts over the past six years, with breakdowns of each company's total contract dollars, the types of contracts they won, the competition they faced, a list of their key subsidiaries, analysis of their lobbying and campaign contributions, and a list of the chief products and services they sold to the Pentagon. We have then cross-meshed this information with at least two other massive federal data sets, campaign contribution records and lobby disclosure documents, in addition to interviewing dozens of people and filing more than a dozen Freedom of Information Act requests. Again, our Web site is www.publicintegrity.org or this massive study can be accessed directly through www.pentagonspending.org.

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