Committee Advances Contractor Suspension and Debarment Reforms

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Md.,left, and Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., introduced the bill. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Md.,left, and Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., introduced the bill. J. Scott Applewhite/AP file photo

This story has been updated. 

A House panel on Tuesday passed by voice vote a bill to crack down on unscrupulous contractors by consolidating agency suspension and debarment offices.

H.R. 3345 -- the Stop Unworthy Spending Act -- introduced Monday by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., would attempt to confront the $1 trillion that the Government Accountability Office has estimated the government spends on contracts and grants to individuals and companies who may be criminals or poor performers.

“The current process for keeping taxpayer dollars out of the hands of criminals, tax evaders, and the chronically incompetent is stove-piped, fractured, and inadequate,” Issa said. “While the vast majority of contractors and grantees fulfill their obligations, the SUSPEND Act streamlines the procedures for dealing with the ones that do not.”

The bill has been circulated since February in draft among academics and “stakeholders” for refinement.

It would consolidate more than 40 executive agency suspension and debarment offices into one centralized board, though larger agencies could continue to operate their own offices if they demonstrate effectiveness. The board would track cases governmentwide.

The bill also would “require agency leadership to work with their Office of Inspector General to ensure agency-wide coordination of remedies for fraud and corruption related to procurement and grant activities, with an emphasis on timely recovery of funds,” according to a press release. And it would mandate an expedited review process “to handle contract or grant fraud in a contingency or time-sensitive environment, in both military and non-military settings.

Finally, to help ensure “consistency and transparency,” it would combine two separate suspension and debarment regulations governing contracts and grants into a single regulation.

Contractor groups have argued that suspension and debarment too often is used to punish companies without due process.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.