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Project on Government Oversight

POGO recently learned of another government attempt to sit down with private contracting officials, which could violate open government laws

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October 18, 2005 | By: Scott H. Amey, J.D.

Raul F. Yanes, Esq.
General Counsel
Office of Management and Budget
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Room 254
Washington, DC   20503

Dear Mr. Yanes:

The Project On Government Oversight ( POGO ) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that has, for almost a quarter of a century, investigated, exposed and worked to remedy abuses of power, mismanagement and subservience to special interests by the federal government.  POGO has a keen interest in government contracting matters, especially those relating to the ongoing activities of the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) Board in the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP).

In light of the recent arrest and indictment of the previous OFPP Administrator, Mr. David H. Safavian, POGO had hoped that OFPP management might be somewhat more circumspect in their dealings with contractors.  However, today POGO learned that a Department of Defense employee who is working with OFPP has apparently arranged for the establishment of “working groups” to address regulatory matters involving the Cost Accounting Standards.

More specifically, POGO has learned that these “working group” meetings will involve both government and interested contractor personnel who will “identify problem(s) and explore potential solutions” to various Cost Accounting Standards Board rules that are designed to protect taxpayer interests in government contracting.  Apparently, an e-mail invitation was sent to selected government and contractor personnel requesting their participation at a meeting to be held on Thursday, October 20th.

POGO has a number of questions about this meeting(s).  First, is the person who issued the e-mail an OFPP or CAS Board employee, or a documented detailee to the CAS Board staff?  Has this meeting been authorized by the CAS Board or officials of the Office of Management and Budget?  While POGO has no objections to any government employee attending the meeting, how were the contractor representatives selected?  Is this meeting open to the public?  If it is not open to the public, have the invited contractor representatives been appointed to the “working group” pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act?

Since the first of the “working group” meetings is scheduled to take place this week, POGO respectfully requests that it be canceled until either a public notice of the meeting is properly published in the Federal Register, or the members of the working group are appointed in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter and please contact me at (202) 347-1122 if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Scott H. Amey
General Counsel

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