New Reports Shine More Light


Two new reports shine light on waste, corruption and the buying of influence in Washington.

Earlier this week, U.S. PIRG released a report showing how the federal government continues to waste tens of billions in the process of outsourcing work to private companies. "Forgiving Fraud And Failure: Profiles In Federal Contracting" reports on how the feds continue to work with companies that did shoddy work and or were found to have committed fraud.

Last year, the federal government spent $422 billion outsourcing work to private companies, a 100 percent increase since 2000, all with precious little oversight. U.S. PIRG reports that loose rules, lack of competition, and limited accountability are the problems. PIRG’s suggestions: increase the disclosure of contract information; increasing competition among multiple bidders; and strengthening the screening of bad actors.

Our friends at POGO have been refining their "Federal Contractor Misconduct Database", a valuable tool for investigative journalists and citizens who want to see the rap sheets on companies our government hires. The fact that these contractors are also large campaign donors just rounds out the equation.

Public Citizen’s Watchdog Blog reports on how industry shills are attempting to buy their way into positions of power bundling cash for presidential candidates. is the place to go to find out who is bundling cash for whom. CBS looked into the bundlers for Bush, and shows how they were rewarded with ambassadorships and other positions within government. At the regulatory agencies, Public Citizen reports, this cronyism has resulted in relaxed enforcement, big tax breaks and special earmarks for big business.