Rep. Towns now chairs key panel on procurement oversight

Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) is the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and will continue to work on contracting reform, the congressman has announced.

“There is a great deal of work to be done to ensure a smooth transition, and I look forward to working with both my Democratic and Republican colleagues in concert with the Obama administration to ensure the federal government is transparent, responsive and efficient,” he said in a statement Dec. 10.

Towns said he intends to focus on contracting reform, oversight of departments, agencies and the private sector, and the rights and duties of federal employees.

Towns announced his decision to pursue the chairmanship Nov. 20, after the previous chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), became chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Towns has been a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee for the past 26 years.

Most recently, he was the chairman of the panel's Government Management, Organization and Procurement Subcommittee. He held hearings about numerous contracting reforms, including closing s loopholes in dealing with fraud by contractors and giving minority-owned small businesses more opportunities in federal contracting. Towns also supported legislation that allowed state and local governments to buy security products from some General Services Administration Multiple Award Schedules contracts, which ultimately became law.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is the committee’ new ranking member, taking the place of Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), who retired from Congress. Issa was the ranking member committee’s Domestic Policy Subcommittee.

Issa said he intends to help the Obama administration root out waste, fraud, and abuse.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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