Obama Targets Gov't Contract Fraud, Waste

Vows to save money
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2009 1:46 PM CST
John McCain looks on as President Barack Obama makes remarks on government contracts reform, Wednesday, March 4, 2009.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama today announced a plan to clean up waste in federal contracts, a set of reforms he believes will save taxpayers up to $40 billion a year, the Washington Post reports. Flanked by spending hawks John McCain and Carl Levin, Obama said his budget manager is drafting “dramatic” new procurement rules to open more contracting jobs to competition, and clamp down on the “massive cost overruns” and “outright fraud” common today.

“We are spending money on things that we don't need, and we are paying more than we need to pay, and that's completely unacceptable,” Obama said. He noted that contract spending had more than doubled during Bush’s term, to more than $500 billion. Obama said defense contracts were particularly prone to abuses, and that he rejects “the false choice between securing this nation and wasting billions of taxpayer dollars.”