Maloney Federal Procurement Oversight Bill Advances
Washington, DC – The “Contractors and Federal Spending Accountability Act” (H.R. 3033), legislation introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) to create a comprehensive, centralized database that would more efficiently monitor the federal procurement system and help protect U.S. taxpayer dollars, advanced in the House today. Currently, no central database exists to track fraudulent federal contractors and prevent them from continuing to do business with the federal government. Maloney’s bill was marked-up and voted out of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The bill can now advance to the floor for a full House vote.
“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.
Congressman Ed Towns (D-NY), Chair of the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement is an original co-sponsor of the bill.
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.