You might try looking at the works of Eric Frank Russell, who wrote at least 2 stories that had bureaucratic wastes and screwups as plot elements: "Allamagoosa", where a starship invents a part called an Offog in order to pass an inspection, then reports it came apart in flight under gravitational stress. This backfires badly when they find it was a typo for Off. Dog, the official ship's dog.
In "A Study in Still Life" there is even more. Here is the Wiki plot summary:
Sitting at a desk with a surly co-worker, processing endless forms
while fat cats in the office line their own nests, is no way to end a
career as a space pilot. So when one ex-spacer finds that an order for
a biological irradiator, needed to help wipe out an insect plague on a
colony planet, has been sidelined to make way for a shipment of gin
for one of his superiors, he takes action.
He invents a fictional new colony called "Nemo", and puts in a high
priority order for the irradiator, meaning to re-route it to the real
colony when it arrives. He forges several signatures, including his
co-worker's and his own. He reasons that if anything at all gets done
in the organization it's probably because people are forging
signatures they'd have to wait forever to get. His deskmate just says
"You can't beat the system."
The middle of the story tells the tale of how the new order progresses
through the system, with officials inspecting the factory making the
irradiator to see that it is indeed a real and properly patriotic
business, and other officials creating official documents stating that
the irradiator will indeed have the desired effect on the insects and
so on and so forth.
In record time, that is to say mere months, the irradiator arrives,
and immediately the bureaucrats smell a rat. The ex-pilot is called to
explain to his boss, to the "I told you so's" of his deskmate. He
seems oddly confident, however.
He explains to his boss that, yes, Nemo is not a colony. It's a code
word for a "tentative priority", that is one which will apply if
nothing else intervenes. When asked why he did this, he responds that
certain shipments had been getting more priority than they deserve.
Bit by bit he admits that the problem was the gin shipment, knowing
that his boss is a mortal enemy of the gin drinker. That gets him off
the hook, but then he plays his trump card.
He has an idea to stop abuses by creating a tracking process which
will monitor a form as it proceeds through the system. His boss is
only mildly interested until told of the extra subordinates he will
have to hire to implement the process. Like most bureaucrats, his
status, pay, perks, and pension increase with the number of people
working for him. He decides to adopt the idea for the good of the
organization, and gratefully offers the ex-pilot the job of supervisor
in the new department.
Returning to his desk, our hero informs his surly deskmate that "You
can beat any system. All you do is turn the handle the way it goes,
only more so." The response is "Shut up. And don't talk until you can
Russell used some themes repeatedly, and he was active in the 1950s, so while neither of these is a fit, maybe one of his other works is.