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