Last week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that details the extensive revolving door where former Department of Defense officials are now working for defense contractors, creating glaring conflicts of interest.

GAO’s report found that in 2006, defense contractors employed over 86,000 former DOD employees who had left the agency since 2001. The report found instances where former DOD officials were working on contracts under the responsibility of their form agency, office or command. And they found nine instances where former officials are working on a contract "for which they had program oversight responsibilities or decision-making authorities while at DOD."

This isn’t a newly recognized problem. A 2004 report by the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) on the revolving doors between the government and large private contractors found "conflict of interest is the rule, not the exception."

Scott Amey at POGO Blog wrote that individuals "move seamlessly between government and contractor positions, potentially subverting the contracting process." He adds that the system is "accepted and entrenched." Scott wrote that he hopes the GAO report will convince Congress "to jam the revolving door." You would think.

Another resource on the subject is the Center for Responsive Politics‘s Revolving Door database, where you can access the profiles of 110 former top DOD officials.