Bill would void, stop contracts with U.S. enemies

A report that highlights payoffs in Afghanistan has brought attention to a Senate bill that would void contracts awarded to organizations that federal officials deem an “enemy of the United States.”

The No Contracting with the Enemy Act (S. 341) would make it easier for U.S. officials to void contracts with companies and organizations that funnel taxpayer resources to enemies, such as the Taliban.

The measure would also block agencies from awarding new contracts to enemies and prohibit contractors from awarding subcontracts to them.

“It is shocking and troubling that taxpayer dollars may have ended up in the hands of those we are fighting against in Afghanistan,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said today. "How well we execute wartime contracting helps determine how well we build the peace.”

Collins supports the legislation, which Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) introduced in February.

The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, of which Collins is the ranking member, will take a close look at wartime contracting in contingency operations during an upcoming hearing.

The Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan found that at least $31 billion intended for financing U.S. wars in the two countries has been lost to waste and fraud in the past decade due to lax oversight of contractors, poor planning, and payoffs to warlords and insurgents. The commission released its final report in August.

About the Author

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

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