Contractor accountability act lands in Congress
WASHINGTON (PAN): Two key senators have introduced legislation requiring federal agencies to notify Congress and publicly justify their failure to comply with recommendations of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
Introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Jim Risch, the Afghan Contractor Accountability Act requires agencies to explain to Congress any instance in which they do not reply to or disagree with a finding from SIGAR worth at least $500,000 in potential damages from a contractor.
SIGAR oversees $89.5 billion in reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan and issues quarterly reports detailing investigations into contractors who are inefficient or guilty of waste, fraud and abuse. These findings are reported back to federal agencies, charged with following up with contractors to recover any wasted taxpayer money.
“Congress must be fully aware of any efforts to ignore the findings of SIGAR and those who may attempt to bend the rules. It is imperative that we account for all taxpayer dollars spent in Afghanistan and ensure that fraud, waste and abuse is not occurring for any reason,” Risch said.
Similarly, Shaheen said: “We have an important watchdog in place in Afghanistan, and we must ensure that agencies and contractors are paying appropriate attention.” These reconstruction dollars were a good investment in US national security and would allow an end to its involvement in Afghanistan responsibly.
“But they are also being spent at a rapid pace and far from public scrutiny, so we must be especially vigilant in ensuring that they are spent wisely. This bill will allow Congress to keep a close eye on any decision to ignore the Inspector General’s findings,” the senator said.
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