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U.S. Senate Backs Measure To Improve Wartime Contracting

Nov. 29, 2012 - 08:14PM   |  
By JOHN T. BENNETT   |   Comments
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The U.S. Senate has voted to put in place wartime contract practices to correct problems that occurred during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The provision comes after a blue-ribbon panel found a long list of deficiencies in the ways the Defense Department and other federal agencies awarded contracts and money for work in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Senate approved an amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, offered by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and several other senior lawmakers from both parties: Sens. Jim Webb, D-Va., Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Specifically, the amendment would strengthen oversight responsibilities and management structures, while also “reforming contracting practices,” according to a summary of the measure released by McCaskill’s office.

In addition, her amendment would ban “excessive pass-through contracts and charges to the government,” while also “establishing additional oversight responsibilities for inspectors general for contingency operations.”

An electronic search of the House-passed version of the legislation indicates the lower chamber’s bill does not contain a similar provision.

That means a House-Senate conference committee will decide the fate of McCaskill’s amendment when it begins work soon on a final version of the Pentagon policy bill.

McCaskill called the passage of the amendment a “real victory for accountability in government.”

“While these wars wind down, we can’t lose the urgency to correct these mistakes,” she said, “and prevent them from being repeated in the future.”

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