Archive: Procurement Debate

SAIC, Other Contractors Allegedly Conspired on $3.2 Billion Deal

Two government employees allegedly shared restricted procurement information with SAIC and others on a $3.2 billion NASA contract, giving the contractors an unfair advantage, the Justice Department said. SAIC said the allegations do not have merit. The allegations are part of a whistleblower lawsuit that the Justice Department just said...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | July 2, 2009; 03:33 PM ET | Comments (1)

GAO: Radiation Detectors Not Worth It

We have known for some time about the troubles surrounding the national security program intended to prevent bad guys from importing radiological material that could be used to make a nuke or dirty bomb. What was not entirely clear until now -- in part because of the questioned behavior of...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | June 23, 2009; 04:11 PM ET | Comments (1)

Contractors Owe Government $2.8 Billion

It was supposed to be a stealthy, aircraft carrier-based attack jet. Instead, it turned out merely to be yet another late, over-budget project that never really got off the ground. The Navy terminated the A-12 progam in 1991 and then did battle in court with the contractors, McDonnell Douglas and...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | June 2, 2009; 04:23 PM ET | Comments (6)

Signs of Progress for Tracking Contract Work

It appears that some progress is being made in trying to keep better track of the work contractors do, oversight officials told Congressional leaders this week. "The Defense Department, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development are making progress toward better oversight of the contractors they hire," says a...

 

By Sara Goo | April 2, 2009; 11:52 AM ET | Comments (2)

Cost-Plus Contracts Increase Risk At IRS

The IRS has put itself at risk of paying more for contracts than necessary because it relies too heavily on cost plus contracts, according to a new report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. As Matthew Weigelt of Washington Technology reported, the IG for the tax administration found...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | March 10, 2009; 02:57 PM ET | Comments (6)

Bad Actors Still Get Government Contracts

One of the checks on federal contractors who misbehave by repeatedly overcharging, failing to deliver and such is government blacklist of sorts genteely known as the Excluded Parties List System. The idea is great. If you mess up and take advantage of the taxpayers in a fraudulent or egregious manner,...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | February 27, 2009; 09:46 AM ET | Comments (7)

Congress Wants Easier Way To Kill Weapons Systems

Two legislative warhorses have teamed up to try to do something that never gets done in Congress: making it easier to kill costly weapons systems. Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and ranking Republican John McCain , introduced the bill two days before the anticipated release today...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | February 26, 2009; 07:08 AM ET | Comments (5)

Contractors: Boost Needed For Civil Servants Overseeing Stimulus

The Professional Services Council, which represents a wide array of government contractors, is worried. Though they embrace the need for massive spending to goose the economy, they're fretting about the ability of the federal workforce to properly manage what they call "this tsunami of funding." They have issued a white...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | February 25, 2009; 12:48 PM ET | Comments (6)

Rising Star BearingPoint's is Fading Fast

It looks as if BearingPoint, the mega-consulting giant, could be disappearing as we once knew it. The McLean-based company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, as it struggles to pay off its heavy debt. And trading of the company's stock, which is going for pennies these days, has stopped....

 

By Sara Goo | February 19, 2009; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (6)

More Procurement Reform

The Project On Government Oversight just released this very interesting document, which proposes a set of tough regulatory and legislative reforms to make government contracting cleaner and more efficient. It comes from the National Procurement Fraud Task Force, a group of federal law enforcement authorities, inspectors general and other officials...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | January 13, 2009; 11:55 AM ET | Comments (2)

Contractors Must Disclose 'Credible Evidence' Of Fraud, Abuse

Dear contractors, please accept this item as a helpful reminder. Starting today, all federal contractors on deals lasting four months or more and worth $5 million or more (including those outside the U.S. and those providing commercial items) must blow the whistle on criminal violations or overcharging. Such contractors also...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | December 12, 2008; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (3)

Some Contractors Not Getting Rich

Many contractors hired by the federal government are poorly paid and poorly treated. Far from being the big ticket Beltway Bandits that get so much attention -- the consultants et al that make so much more per week than civil servants -- these workers must do the government's scut work....

 

By Robert O'Harrow | December 10, 2008; 01:58 PM ET | Comments (3)

Not So Quiet Revolution

NPR's Daniel Zwerdling made a nice run this week at drawing attention to the huge increase in government contracting. In two stories, he drew together themes that have been percolating for several years, producing a very good overview of issues that now confront President-elect Barack Obama. It's stuff you have...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | December 4, 2008; 09:34 AM ET | Comments (2)

Enormous Pressures

This arrived yesterday from Professional Services Council, the trade group that represents government contractors: "Results from a survey released today show that the federal acquisition workforce continues to face enormous pressures, including increasingly complex oversight and growing mission requirements." The report, drawing on interviews with contract workers, underscores some longstanding...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | December 2, 2008; 09:30 AM ET | Comments (1)

Obama Miffed; Approach To TSA Contract Misguided

President-elect Barack Obama has quickly waded into the swirling waters of federal procurement. In a letter last month, Obama expressed dissatisfaction with the way that the Transportation Security Administration awarded a $1.2 billion contract to the Lockheed Martin for human resources support. Remember the deal? It could be worth up...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | November 25, 2008; 03:45 PM ET | Comments (3)

Thus Begins the Hard Work

As the administration-elect clears out the celebration balloons, it must see the very hard work it faces in living up to promises about procurement reform. And what promises they are: To curb pork barrel spending. Stop revolving doors. Adopt what amounts to a tide-shifting policy against no-bid contracts. What's more,...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | November 6, 2008; 09:55 AM ET | Comments (1)

Procurement Debate Goes Feline

For months they have been slinging invective, intellectual mud and all sorts of rhetorical detritus at one another. Can a procurement debate get any better? At odds are Steve Kelman, a Harvard professor and the architect of procurement reform a decade ago, and Danielle Brian, the executive director of...

 

By Robert O'Harrow | July 13, 2007; 05:02 AM ET | Comments (4)

 

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