Maloney Aims to Improve Oversight of Federal Procurement, Stop Fraudulent Contractors from Fleecing Taxpayers
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney has reintroduced the “Contractors and Federal Spending Accountability Act” (H.R. 3033) with Congressman Ed Towns (D-NY), Chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement. The bill would create a comprehensive, centralized database to more efficiently monitor the federal procurement system and help protect U.S. taxpayer dollars. Currently, no central database exists to track fraudulent federal contractors and prevent them from continuing to do business with the federal government.
“Right now, there is nothing stopping a fraudulent contractor from bouncing from federal agency to federal agency, fleecing U.S. taxpayers the whole way,” said Maloney. “Congress can and should do more to fortify the federal procurement system, and show the door to contractors lining their pockets at the expense of hardworking taxpayers.”
The United States is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world, spending more than $419 billion on procurement awards in Fiscal Year 2006 alone. Yet, the federal government’s watchdogs - federal suspension and debarment officials - lack the information they need to protect taxpayer dollars; there is no centralized, comprehensive, government-wide method to account for the performance of U.S. contractors.
Contractors that have repeatedly violated federal law can still receive millions of dollars in future contracts from the federal government. In fact, according to data from the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), the top 50 federal contractors have paid approximately $12 billion in fines, penalties, restitution, and settlements for more than 350 instances of misconduct since 1995. Nine of the top 50 federal contractors have a total of twelve resolved criminal cases totaling $161 million in penalties paid since 1995.
Maloney’s bill would improve and clarify the role of the Interagency Committee on Debarments and Suspension, and require the Administrator of General Services to report to Congress within 180 days of enactment with recommendations for creating the centralized and comprehensive federal contracting and assistance database.
Maloney has worked on the issue of improved contracting accountability since serving on the New York City Council where she led the effort to implement Vendex and ensure city contracts were handed out responsibly.