OTTAWA — A newly-released internal report at Public Services and Procurement Canada says Ottawa is routinely overcharged by its contractors — to the tune of tens of millions of dollars — in a practice that has been going on for decades. A team of 30 government auditors has been working for the last few years to get a handle on the contracts process, as well as examining a number of agreements and payment terms, particularly in the defence industry. The team spent a year looking at $7.3 billion of contracts — 75 per cent of which were not military-related — and found $72 million in potential "over claims and excess profits." That follows a 2013-14 audit which looked $960 million in agreements, of which $65 million in overbilling was identified. In 2012, they examined $390 million worth of industry deals and found $19 million in excess charges.
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