Criminal Dealings by Government Contractors
|January 9, 2007||Posted by Staff under Archive, Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Criminal Dealings by Government
Taxpayers for Common Sense is the best organization that monitors excessive government spending, corruption and corporate welfare. Here is their latest news update.
Feds Contract Criminal Companies Would you keep giving your business to companies that break the law? The federal government does.
Even though they have been prosecuted or sued for ripping off taxpayers, hundreds of companies still receive taxpayer-financed federal business.
This includes firms that have defrauded Medicare, falsified lab tests, bribed foreign governments, or sold dangerous equipment to the government. Here are some examples:
- A petroleum company from Texas pleaded guilty to submitting false lab tests to the Environmental Protection Agency. The same company has also admitted to bribing the Panamanian government.
- A defense contractor based in Florida agreed to repay $14.8 million in 1997 in response to allegations that employees funneled $10 million in U.S. aid to retired Israeli military officers.
- Another Texas company was indicted in 1995 on charges of conspiracy, fraud, and making false statements on a contract to supply generators to the Air Force. But soon after their indictment, the company received a new billion-dollar contract to build 5,000 trucks for the Army.
In fact, many of these contactors with criminal backgrounds continue to rip off taxpayers, then return to the public trough to do it again and again. Out of the 1,020 companies found to have broken the law in the last five years, 737 are still permitted to do government business, according to a computer analysis by the Associated Press.
The General Services Administration keeps a list of all banned companies and individuals at http://epls.arnet.gov/ that agencies should consult before issuing contracts.
But many federal agencies have been too willing to look the other way when it comes to contractors with powerful political connections.
The White House proposed to force companies to disclose any convictions in the past three years. But Congress killed the taxpayer safeguard on a mostly-party line vote.
Recently, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) proposed to bar any company that has violated the law more than three times from being eligible for federal contracts. This standard would allow for one-time mistakes, while still protecting taxpayers.
Congress should act on Rep. DeFazios proposal. Theres nothing unreasonable about demanding that Washington get tough on companies and more closely scrutinize agencies that contract with them. Thats just common sense accountability.
For more information, contact Keith Ashdown at (202) 546-8500 x110 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ; TCS is at www.taxpayer.net
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