Waxman ready to search for waste, fraud and abuse

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a series of hearings starting Feb. 5 to look at waste, fraud and abuse of government funds, the new chairman of that committee said Sunday.

"It seems to me that our top priority as the chief investigative and oversight committee is to make sure taxpayer funds are not being wasted, that there is no fraud and abuse," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in an interview on the ABC News program “This Week.”

The new chairman said that only a small part of the money the government has spent in Iraq has been audited, but so far the findings have been "very, very frightening."

"These are the taxpayer dollars. What we've seen so far in Iraq, according to the government's own auditors, is billions of dollars that have gone to waste, corruption and graft. We're going to look into that more carefully," he said.

But Iraq isn't the only issue that will be scrutinized, he said. "When we look at the spending on homeland security, when we look at [the aftermath of Hurricane] Katrina, we see the same pattern -- of hiring big contractors, having them overcharge for the work they do. We've got to be the watchdog for the taxpayers," he said.

As expected, Waxman was named chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the new Democratic-controlled 110th Congress. One of his first moves was to change the committee's name, adding the word “oversight.” Under Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), the panel had been called the House Government Reform Committee.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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