Accountability in Contracting Act

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Many individuals, businesses, organizations and foreign governments contract with the U.S. federal government to provide products and services. Oversight of that spending has been criticized in the past for not properly dealing with misuse or outright theft of taxpayer dollars. The issue was addressed in the 110th Congress with the Accountability in Contracting Act (H.R. 1362). [1]

Contents

Bill status


House

On March 15, 2007, the House considered the bill. Specifically, it would attempt to reduce abuse with regards to federal government contracts by:

  • Reducing the number of non-competitive, sole-source and cost-reimbursement contracts. The plan and goals for doing so would be applied only to agencies that awarded contracts of a total amount of at least $1 billion in the prior fiscal year. These agency heads would be required to make public within fourteen days any contract awarded on a non-competitive basis. The document would then be posted on the agency website and be available through the Federal Procurement Data System.[2]
  • Requiring all agencies to submit a quarterly report to Congress showing a list of audits or other reports that describe contractor costs in excess of $1 million that have been identified as unjustified, unsupported, questioned or unreasonable under any contract.[3]
  • Closing a loophole that allows former federal officials to accept compensation from contractors or related entities. The provision would require two years to pass before an official could lobby or consult on such contracts for reward. The official could accept compensation if the contract did not produce the same or similar products or services as the entity or contractor responsible for the underlying contract. The agency’s ethics office would be required to determine that the compensation is not a reward for any action leading to the contract award and would not affect the integrity of the procurement process.[4]

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), passed 347-73.


Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: Drum Major Institute 2007 House Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"Whether it’s military contractors accepting kickbacks in Iraq, no-bid contracts with a guaranteed profit margin for companies cleaning up after Hurricane Katrina, or politically-connected businesses landing lucrative contracts to provide materials to the Department of Education, it is middle-class taxpayers who ultimately foot the bill. With spending on federal contracts reaching more than $400 billion in 2006—more than double the level in 2000—middle-class taxpayers have more incentive than ever to demand efficient spending. Yet lax oversight is provoking increased concern about waste, fraud, and profiteering. Combined with legislation that protects whistleblowers who reveal cases of fraud, this bill represents an important step toward making sure that taxpayer money is spent effectively and efficiently."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.drummajorinstitute.org/library/report.php?ID=63)

Articles and resources

See also

References

  1. Robert McElroy, "Government Contractors Face New Regulations Under Reform Bill," TheWeekInCongress, March 16, 2007.
  2. Robert McElroy, "Government Contractors Face New Regulations Under Reform Bill," TheWeekInCongress, March 16, 2007.
  3. Robert McElroy, "Government Contractors Face New Regulations Under Reform Bill," TheWeekInCongress, March 16, 2007.
  4. Robert McElroy, "Government Contractors Face New Regulations Under Reform Bill," TheWeekInCongress, March 16, 2007.

External resources

External articles

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