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Fraud Fight Has U.S. Seeking to Ban Record Number of Suppliers

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Wishing the Government Accountability Office and the agencies in charge of oversight, a banner year of suspensions and debarments in 2012.  Here’s hoping the DoJ grows a set in the new year and prosecutes those who have “gotten away with it” for far too long.  Honestly Eric (Holder) you can’t possibly believe the American taxpayer is gullible enough to believe the only criminals making bank in Iraq and Afghanistan are the handful of petty criminals you have indicted to date?
~ Ms Sparky & Forseti

(Money News) – December 27, 2011 – The Obama administration, under pressure from Congress to weed out government suppliers for ethics violations or poor performance, has proposed to ban almost as many contractors this year as President George W. Bush did in his entire second term.

Federal agencies have proposed blocking 1,006 companies and individuals from contracting so far this year, as well as asking a judge to ban a unit of food-processing giant Cargill Inc. of Minneapolis, in a process known as debarment. That is 16 percent more than the 868 contractors that U.S. agencies proposed to block in all of 2010, and only 70 fewer than the 1,076 contractors that U.S. agencies sought to debar under Bush from 2005 to 2008, according to data provided by the General Services Administration.

U.S. agencies are under pressure after a series of congressional hearings and reports from inspectors general and the Government Accountability Office faulted procurement officials for failing to keep unqualified or ineligible vendors out of the $500 billion-a-year federal market.

“We are starting to see the pendulum swing to more contractor accountability, but government needs to do a lot more to ensure it only works with responsible contractors and thereby protects the public,” said Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit watchdog group.

Potential Record

The proposed debarments appear to be the most since at least 1997, the earliest year comparable data was available, and may be a record, said Meredith Whitehead, a project manager with the General Services Administration, which oversees the online database used to track contractors barred from winning government work.

Federal spending on contracts for goods and services has more than doubled since 2000, to $534 billion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2010 from $213 billion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2000.

Some contractor advocates say the government may be too aggressive in pursuing debarment in some cases, since even proposing a company for debarment means it won’t be able to win new contracts until the situation is resolved.

“The use of suspensions and debarments is getting increasingly hostile,” said Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council, a trade association of government contractors based in Arlington, Virginia.

Moira Mack, a White House Office of Management and Budget spokeswoman, said the agency provides due process to all contractors facing suspension or debarment.

“For too long, the government failed to use suspension and debarment, even in the face of egregious conduct by contractors,” Mack said in an e-mailed statement. “That’s why this administration has been pushing for tougher oversight of contractors, and we’ve seen results.”

Reasons to Debar

Contractors can be proposed for debarment for poor performance as well as a variety of ethical issues, including overbilling or falsely claiming a company is owned by a disabled veteran in order to win special awards. In some cases, debarment is automatic, such as when a contractor is convicted of violating the Clean Air Act or Clean Water Act. Debarment typically lasts three years.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor said it will ask a judge to debar Cargill Meat Solutions, a Wichita, Kansas-based subsidiary of Cargill, after the company refused to agree to a settlement of allegations it discriminated against female job applicants seeking entry-level production jobs and favored Asians and Pacific Islanders over other applicants.

The government’s allegations are unfounded, Mike Martin, a Cargill spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

‘Devastating Impact’

After a company has been proposed for debarment, it can take a year or more before a final decision is made, said Robert Burton, a former acting administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy during the Bush administration who is now a partner at Venable LLP in Washington.

“It can be a very long process, meanwhile the impact on you as a contractor is the same as if you’ve been found to have committed the wrongdoing,” Burton said in a phone interview. “It can have a devastating impact on a company, especially a small business that may be out of business by the time the proceeding is completed.”

A hasty decision by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs led to four men and two companies being at least temporarily blocked from government work this year, and as many as 80 people losing their jobs, Mark Leach, an attorney for the debarred parties, argued before a Kentucky federal judge in U.S. District court proceedings this September.

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6 Comments

  1. Comment by Army Watch:

    That bastard Eric Holder is responsible for ITT not being debarred when they gave away Night Vision technology and it is the Army that continued to give ITT more Night Vision technology contracts. It is Eric Holder that directed that witnesses for a Qui Tam against ITT were never interviewed and it is Eric Holder that told judges to seal a case that he personally put the lid on covering up for ITT’s overcharging and bid rigging with KRH. Only because ITT wasn’t suspended and debarred is Camp Arifjan and KBOSSS putting up with this low ball bid and the resulting poor performance. It is the taxpayer who paid for 8 months while ITT passed it off to the Government that it was occupied when it fact it was a building under construction. It is Eric Holder who is keeping the taxpayers from recovering their money by ITT tripling the market rate for apartments with the collusion of KRH. Eric Holder who is the criminal in this case and he has abusied his position of authority. Obama you put him there – you get rid of him and put in someone with some integrity – because it is NOT Eric Holder.

  2. Comment by msjustice67:

    Wonder if DynCorp will be investigated by the Government Accountability Office. Ever since they hired Gregory Nixon as their Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, they have been free and clear on investigations and even given contracts when they would whine about losing out on multi-million dollar contracts. WONDER WHY?? Because Gregory Nixon, who now works for DynCorp used to work for the Government Accountability Office and was instrumental in assisting President Obama in his transition into the White House….

    http://ir.dyn-intl.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=402120

  3. Comment by Intrepid:

    ITT and it’s days are numbered. They all get caught.

  4. Comment by Xdust:

    Omg. Holder, “Fast and Furious” What else need to be said.

    That guy is a traitor. Already directly responsible for arming terrorists that have killed Americans, and Border guards.

    But hey, he is a liberal, and a liberal can sell assault weapons to terrorists anytime they want right???

    What are a few dead Americans and Border guards anyway?

  5. Comment by Air Force Watch:

    Did you know that the Air Force is now using Google Mail so that their contracting officers can avoid Freedom of Information Act Requests ? ITT will no longer be needed to run servers as the Government is going to allow U.S. Government business to be run on gmail and yahoo mail like the professional Iraqi Government who find that with Yahoo and gmail they can bounce between personal mail and email and chat rooms more easily. This lack of leadership is coming out of McDill Air Force Base Florida

  6. Comment by Intrepid:

    Air Force Watch: Interesting that the Air Force Contracting people are relying on public email services. Read below, this is to good to be true. Soon a communist run company may take over Yahoo.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/29/us-yahoo-alibaba-idUSTRE7BR1CC20111229
    By Paritosh Bansal and David Ingram

    Alibaba Group has hired a Washington lobbying firm, in a sign that the Chinese e-commerce company would be willing to make a bid for all of Yahoo Inc in the event that talks to unwind their Asian partnership fail.

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