Over the past several months, I’ve filed for contracts between Booz Allen Hamilton and over 75 federal agencies and departments. Eleven have completed those requests, releasing thousands of pages detailing how an increasing amount of America’s governmental operations are being outsourced to private contractors.
Want to help keep our government accountable? Help read through the responsive documents, and flag material that is worth a closer look. So far, we have documents from the following agencies:
- Air Force
- Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
- Department of Defense Education Activity
- Department of Energy
- Federal Aviation Administration
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
- Food and Drug Administration
- National Cancer Institute
- Patent and Trademark Office
- United States Postal Service
- Department of Transportation
Thirty of the requests are still awaiting response, more than two months past the statutory deadline for Freedom of Information Act responses. Five agencies rejected the requests, generally stating that searching for contracts by vendor was impossible, raising questions about organization and oversight abilities (See, for example, the Office of the Secretary of Defense). One agency, the Office of Management and Budget, rejected the request on grounds that the material “related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency,” stating the release of which would help circumvent regulation.
Going through all this material, and the material still to come, will take time, so I’d like to ask for your help: Pick an agency or two and read through the contracts. When I originally filed the requests, I was tipped off by a source to look for the following:
- Contracts for work performed, such as an analysis report, where the work was then lost by the agency.
- Outsized contracts for minimal (a few pages) reports.
- Contracts that are repeatedly extended, duplicative, or face overruns in time, cost, or both.
Given the recent leak of information from BAH in relation to National Security Agency’s activities, there’s like other information worth digging into. Find something interesting in the files? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll share it, or tweet it to us at @MuckRockNews.
For the record, one of the few agencies I didn’t file with was the NSA, so I went ahead and filed with them today.
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