House Democrats introduce contracting oversight bill

Several House Democrats focused on contracting flaws introduced a bill Sept. 13 with measures to end contract abuses and begin more transparent practices, according to a press release.

The group called the House Democratic Waste, Fraud and Abuse Truth Squad introduced the Clean Contracting Act of 2006. The bill seeks strict limits on noncompetitive contracts, a ban on monopoly contracts and restrictions on the award of no-bid contracts to Alaska Native Corporations, according to the statement.

The act would require an agency to put at least 1 percent of its procurement budget toward contract oversight. It also directs Congress to hold investigative hearings on credible evidence of contracting abuses or mismanagement.

The bill would allow government to contract only with companies in good standing, and it allows agencies to pay award fees to contractors only for good performance.

“The way the Bush administration has squandered taxpayer dollars is shameful,” Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said. “Indifference, incompetence and corruption have wasted billions of dollars. This bill represents a new direction that will protect taxpayers and restore accountability.”

“This bill will put a stop to the incompetent and corrupt contracting practices that have resulted in billions of tax dollars being wasted and fleeced,” said Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif).

“The bill will do little to responsibly improve and streamline government processes, but will impose new, unnecessary, punitive requirements on the federal procurement system that could significantly impair the government’s ability to conduct smart, strategic acquisitions in a timely manner,” said Chris Jahn, president of the Contract Services Association.

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