It has been estimated that during the past five years, fraud involved in contracts between the federal government and private companies has cost taxpayers $14 billion.
We’ll bet the estimate is a low one.
But Justice Department officials have decided that laws against contract fraud need more teeth.
That is the purpose of a bill in Congress to crack down on fraudulent contractors and, where companies do not condone wrongdoing, their employees.
A provision inserted into the bill — reportedly by the White House — would allow companies engaged in overseas work through government contracts to avoid reporting abuses such as fraud.
We didn’t make that up: The loophole could allow more contract fraud, providing it occurs overseas — in Iraq, for example.
Some members of Congress already have expressed their anger at the loophole.
They should follow up by closing it — especially in view of the fact that overseas contractor fraud can put American troops, serving in harm’s way, in even more danger.