WASHINGTON — The U.S. government awarded more money in contracts to foreign-owned firms located abroad than U.S.-based subsidiaries of foreign-owned firms, according to a government watchdog.

A May 2019 report by the Government Accountability Office analyzed U.S. government contracts during fiscal 2015. In total, the U.S. government awarded $290.9 billion in contracts; of this, $12 billion went to firms located outside of the United States, the GAO found.

The Department of Defense awarded 80 percent of those contracts awarded to firms out of the country, according to the report. Many of those contracts went toward U.S. military efforts in the individual country.

In fiscal 2015, nearly 11,000 defense contracts were awarded for a total of $9.8 billion. This accounts for 26 percent of all U.S. government contracts to foreign firms.

“About a quarter of DOD’s $9.8 billion in aggregate award value were for purchases of fuel, oil, lubricant, and wax. About 9 percent were for education and training services, and about 7 to 8 percent each were for construction of buildings and housekeeping services,” the GAO said.