Obama directive would politicize contracting, senator says

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, writing in Friday's Washington Post, excoriates the Obama administration over a draft executive order that would require government contractors to disclose political spending, arguing that the stipulation would "infuse politics into the contracting process."

"In true Orwellian fashion, the draft order suggests that the only way to keep politics out of the contracting process is to include political information with every contract offer," Collins writes, adding later that "this would inevitably have a chilling effect on the First Amendment rights of individuals to contribute to the political causes and candidates of their choice."

Collins's argument is an idealistic one: "The administration's proposal violates the fundamental principle that federal contracts should be awarded free from political considerations and be based on the best value to taxpayers."

Collins, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, charges that federal contracting officials would use the information to select the winning bidder. The order's proponents, meanwhile, note that since there are already so many suspicions about the politics involved in awarding federal contracts, putting everything on the table will only make the process fairer.

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.