Last week, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a report examining the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) aviation operations within the Department of Defense (DOD) in Afghanistan. The OIG found that the DEA and DoD had spent $86 million over 7 years on an aircraft that missed every delivery date and failed to comply with numerous federal regulations when purchasing and modifying the aircraft.
The DEA purchased the ATR 42-500 aircraft for $8.6 million in 2008 to support the DEA’s counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan. DoD agreed to modify the aircraft with surveillance equipment and other capabilities for intended use in the Global Discovery Program. Since 2008, when the aircraft was originally purchased, the DEA and DoD have spent a whopping $86 million on the ATR 42-500 aircraft, including modifications to the aircraft and a hangar at the Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan. However, after 7 years the OIG found that “the aircraft remains inoperable, resting on jacks, and has never actually flown in Afghanistan.”
The OIG also found the DEA diverted millions to the aircraft through five memoranda of understandings intended for other aircraft operations in Afghanistan. The report questions additional expenditures the DEA made including, “maintenance costs for one aircraft that never flew in Afghanistan and two additional aircraft involved in unrelated DEA missions; training for DEA and contract personnel who never went to Afghanistan; and travel for missions that were unrelated to the DEA’s aviation operations in Afghanistan.”
The OIG report made 13 recommendations to the DEA to improve oversight for aviation operations and the Global Discovery Program. Read the full release.
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