Last week, the House inadvertently took a large step forward in protecting taxpayers from misbehaving contractors. The House passed the “Student Aid” bill that also included a ban on entities receiving any federal contracts or grants if they have “filed a fraudulent form with any Federal or State regulatory agency.” Although intended to restrict ACORN, a nationwide community support organization, the language could be interpreted to cover all federal contractors and grantees.
“Without meaning to, the House took a landmark step in holding federal contractors accountable,” observed POGO’s executive director Danielle Brian…
POGO’s Federal Contractor Misconduct Database compiles instances of misconduct for the top contractors that have together received over $260 billion in FY 2007. Those same contractors have racked up over 750 instances of misconduct and paid over $27 billion in fines or penalties since 1995. A survey of that data shows that 62 federal contractors have been involved in instances that might prohibit them from receiving future federal funds if the “Defund ACORN Act” becomes law.
In this singular case, one suspects Congress will act quickly in closing this inadvertent loophole.