New Law to Help Prevent Felons, Fraudsters From Getting Federal Contracts
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WASHINGTON, DC – Provisions championed by Rep. Carolyn B.
Maloney (D-NY), Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) to
bring transparency to the federal contracting process have been included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009
(S. 3001), which passed the House of Representatives yesterday. The bill is
expected to be approved by the Senate and the president in the coming days.
The oversight provisions would
create a comprehensive, centralized database that will keep track of the
integrity and performance of federal contractors and grantees, more efficiently
monitor the federal procurement system, and help protect U.S. taxpayer dollars. Any
person awarded a federal agency contract or grant in excess of $500,000 would
be included in the database including information related to any civil,
criminal, or administrative proceedings involving the person. Currently,
no central database exists to help procurement officials track fraudulent
contractors who do business with the federal government.
“Congress is finally taking common-sense action to make sure
that fraudsters and felons do not get federal contracts,” said Rep.
Maloney. “It’s outrageous that until now we’ve had no central way to
monitor contractor performance, allowing a handful of contractors to repeatedly
violate the law yet still receive millions of dollars from the federal
government. Today, we’re taking an important step toward bringing greater
transparency to the federal contracting process. I want to thank my colleagues
Chairman Waxman, Chairman
Towns, and Representative
Mark Udall who worked with me in the House on this bill as well as Senator
McCaskill for her leadership on this issue.”
“This is the kind of legislation that puts the good guys in
a position to make informed decisions about how to use taxpayer dollars and the
bad guys on their heals because they cannot hide their past bad behavior while
trying to compete for new awards of taxpayer funded contracts,” said McCaskill.
“This was common sense legislation and it was necessary legislation. I was
pleased to join Congresswoman Maloney, as well as Congressmen Waxman and Udall
in fighting for this legislation and I am thankful for all of the hard work in
the House that helped win its passage.”
“I’m pleased that this important provision that I supported
with Congresswoman Maloney has been included in the FY09 Defense Authorization
bill,” said Rep. Udall. “The fact that currently there is no central
database to track fraudulent contractors is simply hard to believe. This
provision will ensure that federal contracting officials have the information
they need to make good decisions with taxpayer dollars and that the billions of
dollars spent on goods and services by the U.S. government will go to
businesses that abide by the law.”
The contracting oversight
provisions included in the defense authorization bill are based on Rep.
Maloney’s Contractors and Federal Spending Accountability Act (H.R. 3033),
which passed the House of Representatives in April. Senator
McCaskill introduced the Senate companion to H.R. 3033, and worked to include
the database provisions during the Senate’s consideration of S. 3001.
H.R. 3033 has been strongly and consistently supported by
the Campaign for Quality Construction and the Project on Government
Oversight. Rep. 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.