CIA Gets Slap on the Wrist for Being Deceptive

Photograph by Dennis Brack/Bloomberg

The CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

The Central Intelligence Agency was dinged for deception yesterday by a U.S. government watchdog office.

You read that right.

Our spy agency received a slap on the wrist from the Government Accountability Office, which arbitrates contract disputes. The GAO faulted the CIA for conducting “misleading” discussions with a company that hoped to provide the government with accounting and financial services.

The CIA told accounting firm KPMG LLP it should provide resumes for all personnel that would assist the Office of the Director of National Intelligence with financial paperwork preparation. Another company bidding on the contract, New York-based Deloitte & Touche LLP, was required only to submit “representative” resumes for “the labor categories” that would be involved in the project.

Deloitte came in cheaper and won the contract.

KPMG protested the decision and the GAO agreed with the New York-based* company, citing “the agency’s misleading discussions with KPMG.” The GAO recommended the spy agency clarify whether the resumes needed to reflect actual company employees, and also allow both companies to revise their final proposal.

No one involved in the situation would talk. KPMG and Deloitte spokesmen declined to comment. The CIA denied being associated with the project, noting the work at stake would help the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. When Bloomberg pointed out that the CIA handled the contract competition, a CIA spokeswoman declined to comment.

*Correction: KPMG LLP is based in New York.

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