For government contractors, Obama means more oversight

Interesting article by Darlene Darcy in the Washington Business Journal this past week - especially the part about Obama's interest in auditing 25% of the large government contracts (see excerpt below) and full link to the article above.


Cuts in federal spending are not the only thing government contractors should be worrying about. The incoming Barack Obama administration is expected to push for fundamental changes in the way government does business with vendors, potentially making it harder for federal contractors to win taxpayer dollars.

“There is still going to be a great need to fund [defense] and homeland security,” said Robert Burton, a partner in D.C.-based law firm Venable LLP’s government practice, but he added, “I’m sure there is going to have to be some re-prioritizing.”

Even before the election, contractors were expecting heightened oversight.The fiscal 2009 Defense Authorization Act, signed into law Oct. 14, mandates several changes in the way the government buys goods and services.The provisions include restricted use of cost-plus awards that have in some cases encouraged waste and abuse, increased competition as agencies are required to do more to justify noncompetitive contract awards, smaller awards and fewer contractors, and increased public disclosure of spending and oversight information.

“At a minimum, the next administration will focus on implementing these priorities,” said Burton, who spent 30 years as a federal procurement officer and former deputy administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

In addition, he noted, Obama intends to audit 25 percent of large contracts each year.