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Administration Oversight

Congress has a responsibility under the Constitution to conduct oversight of the executive branch. The Committee on Government Reform has the specific responsibility to oversee whether laws and programs are being implemented and carried out in accordance with the intent of Congress and whether they should be continued, curtailed, or eliminated; the application, administration, execution, and effectiveness of laws and programs; and the organization and operation of federal agencies and entities having responsibilities for the administration and execution of laws and programs. As set forth in House Rule X, clause 4, the Committee also may, at any time, conduct investigations of any matter regardless of whether another standing committee has jurisdiction over the matter.

Latest News

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hearing Questions Management of Homeland Security Contracts

The hearing focused on the Department of Homeland Security’s management of large contracts that rely on private contractors as “system integrators.” The Committee focused on two examples of multi-billion dollar contracts: the Deepwater program to develop new ships for the Coast Guard and the Secure Border Initiative to integrate technology and personnel to defend the nation’s borders.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Hearings on Waste, Fraud, and Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars

From February 6-9, the Oversight Committee will hold four hearings on waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars. The hearings focus on Iraqi reconstruction, Homeland Security contracting, and prescription drug pricing.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Chairman Waxman Requests Additional Information on GSA Procurement

Chairman Waxman writes to GSA Administrator Lurita A. Doan and others inquiring about GSA procurement issues.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

GAO Finds Millions in Overpayments to Iraq Contractors

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office released a report which found multiple deficiencies in the Army's oversight of contractors in Iraq, including "limited visibility over contractors," lack of "adequate contractor oversight personnel," and "little or no training on the use of contractors."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Government Reform Leaders Call for Evaluation of Authority to Recover Billions from Oil Companies

Representatives Henry A. Waxman, Tom Davis, Darrell Issa and Diane E. Watson wrote to U.S. Attorney General Gonzales to ask him to review a legal analysis concluding that the Administration has legal recourse to recover billions of dollars in lost revenue on defective oil and gas leases issued in 1998 and 1999.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Democrats Oppose Plan to Privatize GSA Contract Auditing

Reps. Waxman, Oberstar, and Norton write to GSA Administrator Doan, objecting to her proposal to replace experienced federal auditors working for the GSA Inspector General with inexperienced private contractors.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bush Cabinet Secretaries Have Frequently Traveled on Private Jets at Taxpayer Expense

Rep. Waxman reveals that Bush agency heads have taken 125 trips to over 300 locations aboard private jets, helicopters, and other aircraft at taxpayer expense and urges OMB Director Rob Portman to impose a moratorium on this luxury travel.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Waxman Asks Mehlman about Abramoff U2 Tickets, Releases Mehlman Financial Disclosure Form

Rep. Waxman asks former White House Director of Political Affairs, Ken Mehlman, whether he accepted tickets to a U2 concert from Jack Abramoff and, if he did accept the tickets, why he failed to report them on his 2001 financial disclosure form.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Rep. Waxman Statement on Resignation of Susan Ralston

Rep. Waxman responds to the White House announcement that Susan Ralston, aide to Karl Rove, has resigned because of findings in the Committee's report on lobbyist Jack Abramoff's ties to the White House.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Abramoff Ties to White House More Extensive Than Previously Known

Following Mr. Abramoff's guilty plea in January, President Bush and other top White House officials issued repeated statements that Mr. Abramoff was a virtual stranger to the White House. The documents reviewed by the Committee tell a different story. They show that between January 2001 and March 2004, there were 485 lobbying contacts between Mr. Abramoff and his associates and White House officials.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Restoring Honesty and Accountability in Washington

Over the last five years, public confidence in the federal government has plummeted. Reports of enormous waste, fraud, and abuse have squandered both taxpayer dollars and public support. Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Democratic Members of the Committee on Government Reform have developed six proposals to restore honesty and accountability in government.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Democratic Truth Squad Introduces 'Clean Contracting Act'

Today the House Democratic Waste, Fraud, and Abuse Truth Squad introduced the "Clean Contracting Act of 2006." The bill would end the abusive contracting practices that have been rampant under the Bush Administration and promote greater transparency and accountability in federal contracting.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Homeland Security Contracts Waste Hundreds of Millions of Taxpayer Dollars

Ranking Member Waxman and Chairman Davis release a comprehensive report on homeland security contracting that finds pervasive mismanagement and waste. According to the report, noncompetitive contracts have soared over 700% in just three years, and the total value of the Department’s wasteful contracts exceeds $34 billion.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Federal Prosecutors Are Underfunded and Understaffed

Reps. Waxman and Conyers reveal that U.S. Attorney offices across the nation are being undermined by attorney vacancies and lack of funding, with some offices facing shortages of even basic supplies, like binder clips and envelopes. In staff interviews, Assistant U.S. Attorneys reported that the problems are affecting the outcome of both criminal and civil cases.

Friday, July 21, 2006

FDA Scientists Disclose Political Interference within the Agency

Rep. Waxman writes Secretary Leavitt about a survey that reveals that many FDA scientists have been asked "to provide incomplete, inaccurate or misleading information" to the public and elected officials.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Waxman Requests Information About Possible Cruise Ship Contracts

Rep. Waxman today sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff regarding a recent report that DHS is considering renting cruise ships to house illegal immigrants detained in the United States. Recent experience has shown that using cruise ships for temporary housing is enormously expensive.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

New Documents Reveal Problems with Alaska Native Contracts

Rep. Waxman today released new federal agency documents that highlight significant problems with no-bid contracts with Alaska Native companies, including political interference with the contracting process and serious performance deficiencies.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Dollars, Not Sense: Government Contracting Under the Bush Administration

Rep. Waxman today released a comprehensive assessment of procurement spending by the Bush Administration. The 65-page report finds that spending on contractors over the past five years has ballooned, growing faster than any other part of the discretionary budget and increasing five times faster than inflation. The report also contains the first government-wide estimate of the number and value of “problem contracts” under the Bush Administration, detailing 118 contracts worth over $745 billion that have experienced significant overcharges, wasteful spending, or mismanagement.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Rep. Waxman Requests Information on use of Private Air Travel

Today Rep. Waxman sent a letter to Secretary Leavitt requesting additional information regarding his extensive travel aboard a private jet that had been leased by CDC for responding to public health emergencies. Letters were also sent to request detailed information regarding chartered private air travel by other Cabinet secretaries and government executives.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

GAO Finds Improper Conversions of Political Appointees to Career Government Posts

In a letter to OPM, Rep. Waxman and Rep. Danny Davis ask Director Linda Springer to review whether OPM’s procedures properly guard against favoritism for appointees in the otherwise merit-based federal workforce.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Reps. Waxman and Frank Renew Document Request After HUD Chief’s Comments about Political Test for Contracts

In a letter to HUD Secretary Jackson, Reps. Waxman and Frank renew their request for documents relating to Department contracts after the Secretary’s conflicting explanations for his comment that he decided not to award a contract to a contractor with “a heck of a proposal” because the contractor expressed a negative view of the President.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Committee Refuses to Investigate White House's Knowledge of Deficit Reduction Act's Infirmities

Despite Democrats' efforts, the Committee votes down a resolution to investigate whether the President knew in advance that the version he signed of S. 1932, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, had not passed both houses before arrival at the White House.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bush Administration Increases Number of Political Appointees; Minority and Female Appointees Plunge

Rep. Waxman, along with Committee Democrats Danny K. Davis, Major R. Owens, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Elijah E. Cummings, and Chris Van Hollen, releases a report finding that in the Bush Administration’s first five years, the number of political appointees on the federal payroll has soared while the number of minority and female political appointees has declined dramatically.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Rep. Waxman Still Seeking Answers from FERC Chairman

In a third letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Kelliher, Rep. Waxman seeks answers to specific questions about the circumstances surrounding FERC’s favorable settlement with the Southern Company.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Terrorism Attacks Surge in 2005

New data from the National Counterterrorism Center shows that terrorist attacks have increased exponentially in the three years since the United States invaded Iraq.

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