On Wednesday, President Obama ordered his administration to “reform our broken system of government contracting”—a move the President estimates could save $40 billion per year. Between 2001 and 2008, government spending on contracts more than doubled to $500 billion. Too often, these contracts waste and mismanage taxpayer dollars through non-competitive bidding processes, massive cost overruns, and poor federal oversight.
The Center for American Progress Action Fund applauds President Obama’s efforts to overhaul federal contracting oversight through stronger accountability standards, increased agency enforcement capacity, and the elimination of outsourcing for services that should be performed by the government.
The Center for American Progress and Center for American Progress Action Fund have published two reports calling for federal contracting reform. A May 2007 Center for American Progress report, “A Return to Competitive Contracting,” exposed how poor government oversight allowed contractor waste, fraud and abuse, and cost taxpayers billions of dollars. A December 2008 Center for American Progress Action Fund report, “Making Contracting Work for the United States,” found that lax enforcement of contracting standards means the federal government fails to live up to its legal and moral obligations as a model employer. These reports recommended the same actions that President Obama has ordered.