Earmarks and Lobbying
The Defense Contract Audit Agency has this friendly reminder: Contractors are not supposed to charge taxpayers for their efforts to lobby Congress for earmarks.
You read that right. It seems that some contractors want to have their cake, the icing and the cherry on top too. That's according to a DCAA memo, a wonderful dry little primer on the subject of pork.
"SUBJECT: Audit Alert -- Lobbying Costs Related to Legislative Earmarks," the April 24 memo says.
"A legislative earmark refers to a Congressional provision directing funds to be spent on specific projects. Typically, a legislator seeks to insert earmarks in spending bills that direct a specified amount of money to a particular contractor, organization, or project in his or her home state or district. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget reported that the FY 2008 DoD Appropriations Act included 2,092 earmarks with a total value of over $6.6 billion. Contractors may expend a significant amount of effort (and related costs) to support earmarks associated with specific contractors and programs. These costs should generally be considered unallowable lobbying cost as defined in FAR 31.205 22 and 52.203 12."
Take note: The DCAA gives a shout out to Taxpayers for Common Sense, which has done much to study earmarks over the years. Here's a database they maintain. If you find anything interesting, ugly or untoward, please send it my way.
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