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President’s 2014 Budget Has Contracting Theme

2014 Budget Cover
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The President’s 2014 Budget outlines proposed policies and spending for federal agencies and programs. The Project On Government Oversight has reported on many of the proposals related to the Department of Defense (DoD), contractor compensation, and other programs and projects near to our hearts.

The provisions in the budget pertaining to contracting lay out the Administration’s long-term plans to reform contract spending, including:

  • Providing more federal contracting opportunities to small businesses and new programs to help existing small businesses reach the next level (p. 24)
  • Cutting improper payments to individuals, organizations, and contractors (p. 48)
  • Saving billions of contracting dollars by “buying less and buying smarter” in order to leverage the government’s buying power (pp. 48-49)
  • Requesting that Congress reduce the contractor compensation cap to $230,700 from its current level of $763,029 (p. 49)
  • Reforming the acquisition process at DoD, which “account[s] for approximately 70 percent of all Federal procurement,” through the “Better Buying Power” initiative (pp. 49, 73)
  • Reducing reliance on intelligence contractors and maintaining the federal workforce in order to sustain mission critical activities (pp. 75, 77)
  • Improving government transparency by having the Department of the Treasury “assume responsibility of operating and expanding” (p. 143)
  • Slashing unnecessary travel and conference spending by billions of dollars (p. 171)

The Administration has been adamant about the cutting contracting costs and using strategic sourcing efforts to buy smarter, but more can be done. Let’s stop buying goods and services that agencies don’t want or need, commercial items that aren’t commercial, and services that are more expensive than those provided by government employees. Let’s audit contracts to prevent waste and fraud. Let’s improve the suspension debarment system and stamp out government-facilitated human trafficking. The government spends over one trillion dollars on contracts and grants each year, continues to give poor performers billions of dollars annually, and operates without permanent Inspectors General. There have been federal spending reforms over the years, but we have a long way to go before taxpayers can rest assured that their money isn’t being wasted.

Image from The White House.

By: Scott H. Amey, J.D.
General Counsel, POGO

Scott Amey Scott Amey is General Counsel for the Project On Government Oversight. Some of Scott's investigations center on contract oversight, human trafficking, the revolving door, and ethics issues.

Related Content: Budget, Contractor Accountability, Contractor Compensation, Federal Acquisition

Authors: Scott H. Amey, J.D.

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