See the press release below — and by the way, it is not enough to just identify waste and taxpayer money abuse. We need to go get the money, recover it, to the extent we can. We also need to actively and aggressively investigate if there was criminal conduct in the waste and abuse.
BREAKING: Senate Approves McCaskill’s Sweeping Overhaul of Wartime Contracting
Historic six-year effort to crack down on waste, fraud, abuse of taxpayer dollars nears the finish line as part of national defense bill
WASHINGTON – In an historic move, the U.S. Senate has voted to include Senator Claire McCaskill’s sweeping overhaul of wartime contracting as part of the national defense authorization bill currently being debated. Major components of McCaskill’s Comprehensive Contingency Contracting Reform Act, the most important such overhaul in decades, were attached as an amendment to the national defense bill today.
The bipartisan legislation, cosponsored by Senator Jim Webb (Va.), as well as Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine)—the Chairman and Ranking Republican Member, respectively, of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee—represents a sustained six-year effort by McCaskill to improve oversight, strengthen accountability, and crack down on rampant waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars in wartime contracting.
“Harry Truman would be proud of what we accomplished in the Senate here today—a real victory for accountability in government, and something I’ve been fighting for since my first day in the U.S. Senate,” said McCaskill, former State Auditor of Missouri and current Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight. “While these wars wind down, we can’t lose the urgency to correct these mistakes, and prevent them from being repeated in the future. Protecting taxpayer dollars isn’t the flashiest issue. But it’s a promise I made to Missourians, and it’s something I pledge to continue fighting for, with dogged determination, until this legislation is signed into law.”
McCaskill’s landmark legislation, which is also cosponsored by Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), builds upon recommendations issued last year by the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan —an independent modern-day Truman Committee, created through legislation passed in 2007 by McCaskill and Webb and modeled after President Harry Truman’s crusade to combat the wasteful war profiteering that occurred during World War II.
In its final report to Congress, issued after three years of investigation, the Commission found that the U.S. had squandered up to $60 billion through waste and fraud on contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The panel identified major failures in contingency contract planning, execution and oversight within the government. It concluded that such waste will increase if accountability across government is not improved as U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down.
The wartime contracting reform amendment adopted today by the Senate will improve contracting practices and accountability across the federal government by:
· Elevating oversight responsibility, improving management structures, expanding planning requirements, and reforming contracting practices during overseas military contingencies;
· Prohibiting excessive pass-through contracts and charges to the government;
· Establishing additional oversight responsibilities for Inspectors General for contingency operations;
· Improving the contracting process through greater transparency, competition, and professional education; and
· Instituting additional provisions for contractor accountability.
For a complete timeline of Senator McCaskill’s work to reform wartime contracting and build on the work of the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, click HERE.