More details on contractors' rip-off of FBI

$50,000 for highlighters and pens? $500,000 for "other costs"? It's all in a day's work for government contractors working on the FBI's late Trilogy project.

News.com's Anne Broache details some of the more egregious expenses from the FBI's doomed Trilogy project. According to a GAO report (PDF), the $500 million computer upgrade project includes $10 million in questionable billing and $7.6 million in equipment gone missing.

Among the rips:

  • "Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), one of the FBI's subcontractors, charged the agency $456,211 for services described only as "other direct costs." When the GAO probed the company for more information, it landed on an e-mail exchange hinting that CSC probably didn't have enough information to approve the charge but did so anyway."
  • "CACI, a subcontractor hired to do training for the project, billed the FBI for more than $50,000 to cover the cost of custom-made highlighters and pens."
  • "Auditors determined that no documentation provided by the FBI or CSC could justify 19 first-class tickets, costing more than $20,000, 75 "unusually expensive" coach-class tickets, totaling more than $100,000, and other pricey fares."
  • "The FBI was also unable to locate 1,200 pieces of equipment, including desktop and laptop computers, printers and servers, the auditors reported. In general, the agency has failed for years to keep adequate records of the gadgets it purchases, leaving the devices prone to being "lost or stolen without detection," the report charged."