government contracts

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One-Person Firm Got $156M FEMA Deal. It Didn't End Well

Contractor was supposed to provide 30M meals to Puerto Rico, managed just 50K

(Newser) - Another government contract to provide relief to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria is coming under scrutiny. The reasons, as spelled out in the New York Times , are pretty clear: FEMA awarded a one-woman company out of Atlanta—a firm that had zero experience in large-scale disasters—a $156 million contract... More »

Feds Make 'Desperate Move' to Hire 5K Border Patrol Agents

CBP has awarded Accenture a $297M contract to help it carry out its hiring task

(Newser) - The US Border Patrol is having staffing issues, but Customs and Border Protection is hoping a $297 million deal with a private firm will get everything back on track. The Los Angeles Times reports on a government contract with Accenture , which has been tasked with "the full life cycle... More » Contractor's Dodgy Past Slipped By Feds

Red flags should have stopped CGI from getting ObamaCare gig

(Newser) - It turns out there were even more reasons the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shouldn't have picked the free-wheeling and allegedly shady CGI Federal to build When CGI was vetted back in 2007, it didn't have any obvious black marks on its record, the Washington ... More »

Firm Behind ObamaCare Mess Is ... Unusual

At CGI Federal, employees 'make their own jobs'

(Newser) - How did the company that built the bulk of manage to bungle it so badly? There may be some clues in the corporate ethos of CGI Federal, Newsweek finds in an extensive look at the Canadian IT pioneer that now holds hundreds of government contracts in the US... More »

ObamaCare Penalty Delayed —but Not Due to Website

WH says it's just eliminating confusion

(Newser) - Good news for procrastinators: Americans will now have an extra month and a half to get health insurance before facing a penalty under ObamaCare, meaning they won't face a fine if they sign up for a plan by March 31. The six-week delay (a change of tune for the... More »

Whistleblower's Employer Has Cozy Ties to Uncle Sam

98% of its revenue in last fiscal year came from government

(Newser) - If you haven't previously heard of Booz Allen Hamilton, the employer of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, it's not for its lack of ties with Washington, DC. Some 98% of the company's revenue in the past fiscal year came from its government contracts, and 23% of that—or... More »

Secret Service Pays Biden Rent

Total it has forked over since April: $13K

(Newser) - Joe Biden is the vice president ... and due to a strange arrangement with the Secret Service, he's also a federal contractor. The Secret Service pays Biden to stay in a rental cottage adjacent to his Delaware home. Since April, Biden has collected $13,000 in rent, and he could... More »

Congress: US Wasting Billions in War on Drugs

Pair of reports blast counter-narcotics spending in Latin America

(Newser) - The Obama administration has essentially no evidence that the billions spent combating the drug trade in Latin America have done anything to stem the flow of narcotics into the US, according to a pair of scathing new congressional reports. “We are wasting tax dollars and throwing money at a... More »

Decoding DC's Strange Ads

Turns out many of them are aimed at policymakers, not you

(Newser) - Commute around Washington, DC, for a while, and you’ll notice a plethora of mystifying advertisements: A bus ad reading, “WE DON’T MAKE UAVs”; a radio ad touting a company’s “GCE Solution”; a mysterious subway ad with just one clue, the acronym “ISR.” You... More »

CIA Boss Defends $100M Blackwater Contract

'We need the security,' says Panetta

(Newser) - Despite criminal charges against former Blackwater security guards, CIA chief Leon Panetta has passionately defended a new $100 million contract with the controversial company. "We've got to have security," Panetta tells ABC News . “Unfortunately, there are a few companies that provide that kind of security. The State... More »

Blackwater Bilked US Out of $55M for Iraq Security: Audit

Company didn't provide enough workers

(Newser) - The US overpaid Blackwater by $55 million for its security work in Iraq, a government audit has found. The company, since renamed Xe, didn't employ enough guards, medics, and other personnel to protect high-level officials but still collected full payment from the State Department, the Wall Street Journal reports. "... More »

Don't Let 'Waste' Taunts Prompt More Waste

Obama shouldn't scrap chopper deal just to appease McCain

(Newser) - Fearful of appearing wasteful, the Defense Department wants to dump a contract for new presidential helicopters and start fresh—but that means losing $4 billion already spent on the project. It’s the same old story when it comes to “wasteful procurement,” writes Gail Collins in the New ... More »

Obama Puts Brakes on Contractors

Bush's 'market-based' government hasn't been cheaper or better

(Newser) - President Obama slipped an important policy change under the radar last week, saying government needs to make “a real choice between investments that are designed to keep the American people safe, and those that are designed to make a defense contractor rich.” Thomas Frank was listening, and he... More »

Obama Targets Gov't Contract Fraud, Waste

Vows to save money

(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”... More »

Ex-CIA Exec Gets 37 Months for Peddling Contracts

(Newser) - A former CIA official who steered contracts toward a friend in the days after Sept. 11, 2001, was sentenced today to 37 months in prison, the Washington Post reports. Kyle Foggo was, at the time, the CIA’s executive director, the agency’s third-highest position. In exchange for lavish dinners... More »

Too-Speedy Bailout Spending May Squander Billions

Auditors understaffed for behemoth task, leaving field open to shifty contractors

(Newser) - If new federal bailout funds are spent too quickly, billions could be wasted because the government administrative staff may be too overburdened to provide adequate oversight, warn budget experts. Billions of dollars in government money were squandered by private contractors who overcharged the Bush administration, according to a government report.... More »

Peanut Corp. Banned From Federal Work

Salmonella outbreak shows lack of integrity, honesty: USDA

(Newser) - The Peanut Corporation of America was barred today from government contracts for a year as the criminal investigation into a deadly salmonella outbreak sourced to its Georgia plant gathers steam, Reuters reports. “The company lacks business integrity and business honesty,” steamed a Department of Agriculture spokesman. The PCA’... More »

Burris Ties to Blago Include Donations, Job for Wife

Senate aspirant no stranger to pay-to-play politics

(Newser) - Senate Democrats are lauding Roland Burris as a faithful public servant who happens to owe his appointment to a crooked governor, but the Illinois politician has some pretty close—perhaps suspect—ties to Blagojevich, the Chicago Tribune reports. Burris and affiliates in his lobbying firm contributed $20,000 to Blagojevich... More »

Sex, Ethics Scandal Rocks Interior Dept. Oil Agency

Probes reveal sex, drugs, improper dealings in 'culture of ethical failure'

(Newser) - It's not quite the Interior Department Gone Wild, but it's not that far off, either. A dozen current and former employees of the departmental agency that deals with oil and gas royalties have been accused of having sex with reps of the energy industry, illegally accepting gifts, using cocaine in... More »

Pentagon Delays $35B Tanker Deal for Next President

Environment too 'highly charged' for fair process; Boeing gets time to rework plan

(Newser) - The Pentagon has put a $35 billion contract for new Air Force refueling tankers on hold, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced today, reasoning that the White House didn’t have enough time left to “complete a competition that would be viewed as fair.” The contract was awarded to... More »

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