Lawmaker wants to fence off money for contract oversight

One percent of federal procurement spending should be set aside for contract management and oversight, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Monday.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said that his legislative effort to implement procurement reform (H.R. 1362) is bogged down in the Senate and the Bush administration is resisting key parts of his proposal. But even the best-written laws will do little to curb waste, fraud and abuse without more contract managers and government auditors to oversee the "burgeoning procurement budget," Waxman said at an event hosted by the nonprofit Center for American Progress.

A provision in Waxman's original contracting reform bill would have required agencies to invest at least 1 percent of the total cost of contracts in procurement personnel, oversight and planning, but the language was dropped before the measure reached the House floor.

"Procurement experts can debate whether that is the right percentage or not, but we need more resources [and] that should not be in dispute," Waxman said.

Waxman said his panel will begin holding regular hearings on contracting fraud and abuse.

The outsourcing of non-core government functions can serve useful purposes, Waxman said. But if it is not done the right way or if it involves core work, contracting can become a sieve for money to flow out of an agency, Waxman said.

Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight and a panelist at the event, said it is time to reexamine whether federal employees are paid enough. She said there has been increased movement through the revolving door between government and the private sector, and at many agencies it is difficult to tell contractors apart from federal workers.

"It's not simply pay," said Scott Lilly, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and author of a just-released report on federal contracting. "It's also [federal employees'] ability to be at the center of the decision making at the agency that has been eroded over time."

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

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

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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