Paper urges tougher controls on contractors

The federal government should require federal contractors to provide notice if they were significantly overpaid and proof that they have internal ethics programs, according to a report on reducing procurement fraud.

The white paper, produced by the National Procurement Fraud Task Force Legislation Committee, is being made available by the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), which posted the report on its Web site on Jan. 12.

The proposals include:

    * Preventing a contract award unless a contractor has an internal compliance program as well as measures of corrective actions.

    * Providing subpoena authority to compel interviews and receive electronic evidence for fraud prosecutions, defining "economic loss" in federal sentencing guidelines, and assigning officials from the inspectors general to the Justice Department to help prosecutions.

    * Requiring contractors to notify the government of "significant overpayments," extending conflict-of-interest laws to contractors, extending the General Service Administration's audit rights and establishing a "National Procurement Fraud Database."

The committee finished its work in June 2008, but this is the first time the report has been released, POGO said. Its authors are Brian Miller, IG for the General Services Administration, and Richard Skinner, IG for the Homeland Security Department.


About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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