Pentagon mistakenly awarded $877 million meant for disabled vets

Tony Capaccio

The Pentagon mistakenly awarded $876.8 million in contracts to ineligible small businesses supposedly owned by disabled veterans, according to the Defense Department’s inspector general.

If personnel continue to award contracts “without verifying contractor eligibility, service-disabled veterans may be in jeopardy of not receiving contract awards intended for them, and the DoD will be at risk of misreporting the amounts” of participation for qualified contractors, according to the audit released Thursday.

A 2004 executive order requires the heads of federal agencies to provide an opportunity for service-disabled veteran businesses to increase their participation in federal contracting. The order set a target goal of providing at least 3% of all federal contracting dollars to service-disabled veteran businesses each year.

The report, which doesn’t name any businesses which received payments, also doesn’t give a time frame for when the ineligible contracts were awarded.