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Project on Government Oversight

POGO Finds Stimulus Funds Vulnerable to Pay-to-Play Contracting: States and Local Governments Can Serve as Model to Feds

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September 24, 2009

A POGO investigation has found that many state and local governments with laws limiting contractors’ campaign contributions (meant to reduce the influence of private interests in the public contracting process) are facing obstacles to enforcing these “pay-to-play” laws on stimulus-funded contracts. As a result, stimulus-funded contracts are not being subjected to this additional level of corruption prevention, a missed good-government opportunity.

If the above obstacles are removed, many states and local governments have practices that may serve as model legislation for other states, and even the federal government, such as the Open Book in Illinois and well-crafted pay-to-play laws.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.