Posts Tagged bill

Legal News: McCaskill, Webb Introduce Comprehensive Contracting Reform Legislation

Thanks to POGO for posting this news and I would love to hear some feedback from our community on this. As an American and as a tax payer, I am all about contracting reform that leads to savings and minimizing waste and fraud. As a contractor, I am also enthused because I want to see good companies rewarded, and poor companies punished in this industry. Any tools that help make this process called contingency contracting more efficient, an asset to national interest and security, and rewards good behavior/punishes bad when doing business with private industry, is a good thing.

Below I have posted two videos made by the Senators that describe this legislation and all of the work that went into it. POGO provided a basic summary of some of the key points in this legislation on their website and here is a PDF of the legislation.

I guess the only reservation I have is the secondary effects of legislation like this. It is very hard to tell how some of this stuff will impact the guy on the ground. Will it increase the quality of contracts out there?  Will it hinder my ability to provide security services on these contracts?  Will this legislation hamstring national security, or enhance it?

Another fear is that now that the wars are winding down, that the lessons learned about contracting during war time will disappear or be marginalized. They mentioned this fear in the videos below, and it is food for thought.

My final point is that bravo to both Senators for recognizing the value of contractors. We are the other ‘All Volunteer’ force that makes our current volunteer military system work. These wars would have been radically different if the forces and support forces were raised by a draft. I personally think that a military supported by a contractor force is far more effective than a ‘slave army’.

A slave army is one where many of the participants are there because they are forced to be there. There is quite the difference between a military and contractor force filled with folks who want to be there or want to fight, and a conscripted military partially filled with folks who do not want anything to do with fighting or being in a war.

This system makes all the difference for war planners and political leaders who need time and flexibility when fighting an enemy and/or country that is not easily defeated within a short period of time. They need that flexibility for the politics of war, and they need that flexibility when situations change dramatically in a war–like losing partners in a coalition.

Does it make it easier for a country to go to war?  Maybe. Or maybe we have developed a way of warfare that fits well within the mindset and fabric of a modern liberal democracy? It also fits well within the plans of strategists and leaders tasked with protecting this country and supporting national interest. –Matt

McCaskill, Webb Introduce Comprehensive Contracting Reform Legislation

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
On Wednesday, February 29, 2012, Senators Claire McCaskill and Jim Webb introduced legislation to overhaul the federal government’s planning, management, and oversight of wartime contracting.  The Senators’ comprehensive reform legislation (S. 2139) builds on the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan – an independent, bipartisan panel that Senators McCaskill and Webb created through legislation they introduced in 2007.
Press release here.



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Legal News: Senate Passes Key Defense Policy Bill Filled With Contractor Oversight Mechanisms

     The key thing here is that this bill was passed just in time to deal with DynCorp’s billion dollar contract.  Which is great.  I would certainly hope that the government would actually care about how this money is spent and that they get their money’s worth.  Although my view on the thing is that actions speak louder than words, and I will believe it when I see some actual adult supervision on this stuff.

     I really liked the last provision listed which “prohibits small arms contracts from being awarded on a sole source basis and require those contracts be awarded based on full and open competition in order to get the best weapons for our troops in combat.” Wow, that is cool! Hopefully this will open up things a little to all companies out there, and contribute to a truly innovative and vibrant competition that would result in getting the best possible weapons into the hands of the troops. –Matt

Senate Passes Key Defense Policy Bill with McCaskill Provisions

December 22, 2010

Senator’s provisions will improve healthcare and benefits for military, increase contracting oversight, and address F/A-18 shortfall.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill applauded the passage of a major defense policy bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2011, which was passed unanimously by the Senate this morning. The NDAA outlines funding levels for the Department of Defense (DoD) for the coming fiscal year and addresses major defense policy matters. When the bill passed the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCaskill, who serves as a member of the committee, was able to win inclusion of several important amendments in the bill that will help improve access to healthcare for the military and improve oversight of DoD contractors. Despite fairly significant changes to the bill before final passage, many of her measures were included in the final bill.

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Legal News: House Passes 2010 Overseas Contractor Reform Act

    If any legal eagles out there have anything good or bad to say about this bill, by all means speak up.  I like the intent of the bill, but I just don’t know enough about the contents to really give a good assessment. For example, does this cover sub-contractors, or are there any loopholes that would still allow companies to bribe folks in some way, shape or form?  Does it really have teeth, or is it just a minor obstacle for companies and their sub-contractors to side step? For that, I will hold judgement. –Matt

Edit: 09/17/2010- POGO has chimed in on the bill and they support it.  The IPOA has been holding a conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which this current bill would be reinforcing. Here is what the IPOA will be discussing at this event:

2010 Legal Conference

In 1977, Congress passed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to further U.S. economic policy and protect the integrity of the American business system. Over thirty years later, the U.S. Department of Justice now refers to corruption as a “national security issue” that impacts U.S. efforts in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Other nations, such as the United Kingdom, have recently taken a much harder line on corruption. Criminal prosecutions, of both companies and individuals, are on the rise. What do these developments mean for companies operating in contingency environments? How do you address the challenges of corruption when working in failed or weak states, and how do you stay compliant with applicable laws?

Join IPOA for a one-day conference that will look at these issues, and discuss the complex intersection of corruption, national security, and contingency contracting. The conference will include panels of experts that will discuss the FCPA and other similar anti-corruption laws, their relevance on contingency operations, and the challenges of compliance. The panels also will discuss past cases and prosecutions that demonstrate the very real nature of these challenges.


House passes bill to debar crooked contractors

By Robert Brodsky

September 16, 2010

The House unanimously passed legislation on Wednesday requiring the federal government to debar contractors caught bribing overseas government officials to win international business.

The 2010 Overseas Contractor Reform Act that Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., sponsored would require agencies to debar companies and individuals found in violation of the 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and sever their existing government contracts and grants.

An agency head could issue a waiver to avoid debarring the contractor or grantee, after notifying Congress and justifying the decision.

“Contractors that bribe foreign governments have absolutely no business profiting off the American taxpayer,” Welch said. “Those who violate the rule of law undermine not only our nation’s mission and values, but also the safety of our troops.”

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