Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's a mistake, it's a mistake

Official Says Fraud Loophole Was A ‘Mistake’

The Bush administration inadvertently exempted foreign contracts in Iraq from fraud oversight, a top administration official said Tuesday, resulting in a loophole that Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said could have protected private firms that steal taxpayer money.
The administration removed the single paragraph exemption on Monday, hours before a House panel convened a hearing to question officials about its origin and to debate legislation introduced by Welch to close the loophole and punish fraudulent contractors.
The White House opposes the measure, saying proposed regulations would implement the same requirements as the legislation.

The Professional Services Council, a trade association that represents more than 300 contractors, like Blackwater Worldwide and KBR, for the former subsidiary of Halliburton, strongly opposes Welch’s legislation.
And in related news:
Fraud Loophole Documents Delayed

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration has delayed delivering documents to Congress explaining how a multibillion-dollar loophole exempting overseas work from scrutiny was slipped into a rule intended to crack down on fraud in government contracts.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak