Here are a few Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, March 2. Also, check out the video (and the statement after the "flip") of Jim Webb talking about his legislation to overhaul federal government contracting during overseas military contingency operations.
This week, I introduced comprehensive legislation with Senator Claire McCaskill (Mo.) to overhaul federal government contracting during overseas military contingency operations. Our legislation builds on the recommendations of the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan-an independent, bipartisan panel that Senator McCaskill and I established through legislation introduced in 2007.
The Commission-modeled after the "Truman Committee" which investigated waste and fraud during World War II-spent three years investigating the government's extensive reliance on civilian contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. In its final report to Congress last August the Commission estimated that the U.S. had squandered up to $60 billion through contracting waste and fraud.
Our new legislation affirms the important work done by the great majority of our wartime-support contractors. At the same time, it recognizes the necessity to improve government management and accountability in the contracting process that resulted in unacceptable costs, excessive waste, and substandard performance in far too many areas. My principle focus in these reforms has been to streamline governmental processes in the Defense Department, State Department and USAID in order to improve the efficiencies of this essential practice.
The Comprehensive Contingency Contracting Reform Act of 2012 (S.2139)-which is available here-marks a pivotal moment in our five-year fight to address failures in the management and oversight of federal contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan that allowed waste, fraud, and abuse to flourish.
As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I plan to continue gathering input on these proposals and to seek a vote on the bill this year.
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