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Resource ID: #13716
Subject: Federal Government
Source: Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)
Date: 1996-04-28



The story found that the search for MIAs in Vietnam - the dominant factor in relations between Washington and Hanoi - is plagued by lax oversight on the Part of the U.S. Department of Defense and abuse by the Vietnamese government. It uncovered U.S. government vehicles imported for MIA work, repaired and maintained at U.S. expense, being rented out to tourists by a Vietnamese government-owned business. It found that only a trickle of the wages the U.S. government designates for Vietnamese workers for their unskilled labor during digs actually reaches the workers. It uncovered exorbitant fees paid by the U.S. government for minimal use of Vietnamese helicopters for the digs as well as incomplete accounting for other dig-related services supposedly provided by the Vietnamese government. During the past four years, the U.S. government has spent $33.6 million on the MIA program. While the Mercury News was not able to track down all four years of spending, it was able to establish that in 1996, more than one-third of the $11.2 million spent of the program could not be accounted for and that abuse of the program is widespread. (April 28, 1996)

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