The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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  • A $191 Million Question

    Waste, fraud and criminal activity plague the procurement budget, an expenditure that ballooned to $600 billion in 2007. The Post investigates the sources of the escalating costs and finds government and corporate ties to be appallingly mangled.
  • The Man Who Conned The Pentagon

    Dennis Montgomery, a self-proclaimed scientist, believed he could decrypt secret communication between Al Qaeda. He had been doing this for years and convincing the US national security establishments of this information. His bizarre intelligence caused plane cancellations, orange alerts, and chaos throughout America. Further, this story reveals specific contracts and a number of events caused by certain people.
  • Cowboys of Kabul

    US Protection and Investigations, a company owned by a Texas couple named Del and Barbara Spier, was, until recently, one of the largest security operations in Afghanistan. The company oversaw security of reconstruction projects but secured no-bid contracts, submitted false invoices, hired men from a notorious Afghan warlord, paid off militants and demonstrated many other corrupt actions. "The Cowboys of Kabul" details the actions of these and other corrupt contractors in America's war on terror.
  • How the US Funds the Taliban

    This investigation uncovered Taliban insurgents reaping millions of dollars in Department of Defense contracts. "These contracts have become an immense boon for the Taliban, as security firms found that paying off the insurgents was the only way to get supplies through hostile territory to US troops." This has become a large part of the Taliban's income.
  • Big Gov: Runaway Spending Under Bush

    President George W. Bush's spending for defense and homeland security opened up a funding funnel that poured billions into a poorly managed and badly supervised contracting system.
  • The Financial Collapse

    Among the findings in this package are: In February, Morgenson warned that the arcane contracts known as credit-default swaps were so volatile and explosive that they would "set off a chain reaction of losses at financial institutions." In May, she examined the moves by private investment firms to buy up hundreds of New York apartment buildings, betting that they could evict tenants and raise rents. In July, she reported on the enormous increase in consumer debt and the changes in the lending system that encouraged risky loans. In September, she dissected the small London Investment unit that had bedazzled the insurance giant AIG with its profits but soon brought it to its knees and helped trigger a widespread collapse. In November, she profiled the reckless executives who gambled on subprime home mortgages and led Merrill Lynch to its demise. In December, she held the credit-rating agencies to sharp account, in particular Moody's, showing how they had minimized or overlooked the dangers to investors.
  • Demoted to Private: America's Military Housing Disaster

    Political patronage, the zeal to privatize and a failure at background checks led to a disaster for taxpayers and military families in Pentagon housing programs in six states. All three branches of the service gave 8,000 military houses and billion-dollar contracts to a company headed by a politically-connected Texan involved in a messy bankruptcy and a Connecticut property management firm that had been previously suspended from HUD housing projects because it diverted millions to its own uses.
  • The Federal Contractor Misconduct Database

    The Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (FCMD) is a Web-based resource that tracks the civil, criminal, and administrative misconduct of the federal government's largest suppliers of goods and services. POGO created the FCMD to ensure that the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars the federal government awards every year in contracts (over $530 billion in fiscal year 2008) go to companies with solid records of responsibility, integrity and performance. POGO developed the FCMD because government contracting officers are required by law to award contracts to responsible vendors only but lack a centralized repository of information on vendors' misconduct histories. To make decisions that are in the best interest of the public and prevent fraud, wasted and abuse, the government must have as much information as possible reflecting the past performance and responsibility of prospective vendors. The FCMD provides this information free to the public in a concise and user-friendly format. The FCMD spotlights each of the top 100 federal contractors. It complies each contractor's instances of misconduct -- actual and alleged -- dating back to 1995. In addition to misconduct instances, the FCMD includes primary source documents and links to the contractors' Web sites, annual reports, SEC filings, and lobbying and campaign finance information. Search and sort features allow users to search the data for key words, or to organize the data in interesting ways. The FCMD is an evolving resource. POGO continually adds and updates instances and contractor information. POGO also periodically updates the contractor list to reflect the most current fiscal year ranking. Each year, the roster of contractors will change, but POGO will keep all old rankings on a special archive page so that eventually the FCMD will include hundreds of contractors.
  • Tons of Questions

    After wildfires destroyed 365 homes in San Diego, the city rushed to enter contracts with two companies to haul away mounds of potentially toxic debris. The Union-Tribune investigated and found that the contractors, A.J. Diani Construction C. of Santa Maria and Watsonville-based Granite Construction Co., claimed to haul far more rubble than privately hired companies did from comparable lots, failed to provide accurate documentation of how many tons they removed and billed the city millions more than stated in their contracts.
  • In Their Dust

    The Baltimore Sun discovered that unbeknownst to state regulators and legislators, non-profit hospitals were suing tens of thousands of patients in local courts over unpaid bills even though those bills were covered through the rate-setting system. Some of the hospitals that filed the most lawsuits were also collecting consistent surpluses on unpaid and charity care through the rate-setting formula, something that the rate-setting commission could not explain. Patients were often railroaded through the legal system. And hospitals violated state laws or contracts with insurance companies by suing patients for amounts they were not permitted to collect.