WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that he is
co-sponsoring the Honest Leadership and Accountability in Contracting
Act, legislation that increases transparency in government contracting
and cracks down on corruption and corporate cheaters.
Harkin Pushes For Honest Leadership and Accountability in Contracting
“We must fight for reform, so we can ensure that America’s interests
always come first,” said Harkin. “This legislation is long
overdue, and I believe it will clean up the waste, fraud and abuse of
power in government contracting. This way, Republicans
won’t be able to let friends like Halliburton receive no bid contracts
that misuse taxpayer dollars.”
Some of the key provisions of the legislation include:
Forces Real Contract Competition – Prohibits the awarding of huge
monopoly contracts, and allows multiple companies to make bids for work
so as to ensure price competition.
Bans Corporate Cronyism in Contracting – Requires that federal agencies
conduct contract oversight, rather than paying contractors with
conflicts of interest to oversee one
Punishes War Profiteers – Establishes penalties of up to 20 years in
prison and at least $1 million in fines for war
Ends Cronyism in Key Government Positions – Stops unqualified political
appointees from holding key jobs relating to federal contracting or
Cracks Down on Big Corporate Cheaters – Restores a Clinton
Administration rule on suspension and debarment, which prohibited
awarding federal contracts to companies that exhibited a pattern of
failing to comply with the law. The Bush Administration repealed
this rule as soon as it took office.
Requires Full Disclosure of Contract Abuses – Establishes a “Truth in
Contracting” public website identifying overcharges by major
Eliminates Conflicts of Interest for Federal Contracting Employees –
Closes the perverse loophole that allows federal contracting officials
to take jobs as lobbyists for companies to whom they awarded contracts.
Strengthens Whistleblower Protections – Makes it more difficult for
federal agencies to retaliate against whistleblowers, and gives courts
wider discretion to consider cases of retaliation.