For Immediate Release
Feds Can Learn a Contractor-Responsibility Lesson from the States
WASHINGTON - On the heels of a New York Times
story about how the General Services Administration (GSA) awarded
stimulus-funded contracts to a company with a checkered history of
misconduct, POGO recommends the federal government and other states
look closely at what the New York State Comptroller is doing to ensure
that only responsible contractors receive stimulus contracts.
While the GSA has proposed a new system to track contractor integrity and performance, the New York Times provides further evidence that the federal process for identifying contractor responsibility is seriously flawed. According to the New York Times,
the GSA awarded $6 million in stimulus funds “to a huge international
construction management company that has been the focus of two criminal
investigations.” POGO was able to identify these possible red flags
through a simple internet search.
“It’s unlikely that this
contractor would have gotten their hands on any stimulus dollars if the
contract decision had been made at the state level, thus under the
watchful eye of the New York State Comptroller,” says Ingrid Drake,
Investigator at POGO. “That office is following up on whistleblower
tips, conducting intensive responsibility reviews of every
stimulus-funded contract, and engaging contractors in the process.”
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After learning about the New York State Comptroller’s recent decision to not approve
a stimulus-funded contract for highway bridge painting absent a more
comprehensive review of the vendor’s responsibility, POGO followed up
with the Comptroller’s Office to find out exactly how it is determining
contractor responsibility. POGO outlines these best practices, which
include the use of POGO’s federal contractor misconduct database, in a recent blog.
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The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open and honest federal government.