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National Debt

Proposed Legislation Will Fight Government Waste

  • November 30, 2006

    Rep. Henry Waxman (CA), a longtime critic of the current government contracting system, has plans to reform the process and help eliminate the wasting of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

    As the incoming chairman of the Government Reform Committee, Rep. Waxman is expected to introduce the Clean Contracting Act aimed at “ending abusive contracting practices…and promote greater transparency and accountability in federal contracting.”

    By changing the way contracts are awarded and by applying more oversight to the organizations that receive them, the Clean Contracting Act will eliminate a large portion of the average $152 billion wasted per year on faulty and fraudulent contracts.

    Examples of change in the Act are that tactics such as no-bid contracts would be minimized and if used, fully documented as to how they are justified; the practice of sub-contracting out work, which often leads to grossly inflated costs, would be curtailed to maximize accountability for a project as well as keep costs lower; a mandatory 1% of an agency’s procurement budget be devoted to contract oversight; and an increase of Congressional oversight to ensure that contractors and awarding agencies are following the guidelines put in place to protect taxpayer dollars.

    In a time when so much money is being given out, especially in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan where the amounts reach well into the billions of dollars, a new model for awarding contracts and ensuring that the work is completed on time and on budget is sorely needed.

    CapitolWatch welcomes the increased vigilance towards awarding contracts, and by extension taxpayer dollars, and urges its members to contact their representative and ask them to do the same.

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