WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress is poised to nearly halve the salary cap for U.S. government contractors after years of dramatic increases driven by skyrocketing executive pay.
A broad budget bill that won approval by the House of Representatives on Thursday would lower the cap to $487,000 a person, down from its current level of $952,000. The Senate is expected to pass the bill next week.
The measure would be a partial victory for the White House, which for years has sought to rein in contractor reimbursements that fund salary and other personnel costs. In May, the White House proposed limiting the reimbursement level to $400,000 a person – the amount Barack Obama earns as president.
Office of Federal Procurement Policy
Office of Management and Budget
ATTN: Ms. Aisha Hasan
725 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20503
Submitted via regulations.gov
Subject: Public Comments on the Use of Cost Comparisons
Dear Ms. Hasan:
The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) provides the following public comment regarding the use of cost comparisons outlined at 78 Fed. Reg. 11232 (February 15, 2013). Founded in 1981, POGO is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government. POGO has a keen interest in government contracting matters, especially the important but often ignored issue of service contracting costs.
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced a public meeting on March 5, 2013, and requested public comments on “the practice of comparing the relative cost of performance by Federal employees versus contract performance in order to identify the most cost-effective source.” POGO hopes that all of the oral and written comments will be used to create a comprehensive cost comparison model that will be used when making human capital planning decisions.
Establishing a uniform, effective cost comparison model is one of the most, if not the most, important tasks facing the government today. This model, whether established by improving the A-76 process or building a new cost comparison process, must be initiated earlier in the human capital policy and planning phase. It also must compare the full life-cycle costs of outsourcing federal services to contractors with the costs of having those services performed by federal employees.
In the midst of shrinking federal spending on infrastructure, scientific research, Head Start, and other government programs, the costs of government contractor executives’ salaries and compensation are set to soar unless Congress takes action. This is another example of how current government policies transfer resources to the wealthy and away from the programs that broadly support and grow a vibrant middle class.
The maximum amount a government contractor can charge taxpayers for employees’ salaries is about to rise at least 25 percent in the next few weeks, from $763,029 to more than $950,000 – nearly $1 million. This comes as federal employees have seen pay freezes – justified on the basis of saving public dollars – and as most Americans have seen stagnant incomes over the past several years. It also comes as federal spending is reduced through the Budget Control Act of 2011 and sequestration. Continue reading “As Austerity Shrinks Government Budgets, Contractor CEO Pay and Public Costs Set to Rise”
POGO took the fiscal year 2011 data reported on the Federal Procurement Data System and came up with a new ranking of the top 100 federal contractors, which now includes Verizon (#69), Highmark (#93), and ten other of the largest suppliers of goods and services to the federal government. The new top 100 received 55 percent of the $537 billion in federal contracts awarded in FY 2011. Collectively, they have racked up 932 misconduct instances and $41 billion in monetary penalties since 1995. Continue reading “POGO Celebrates Sunshine Week with Expanded Misconduct Database”
When members of a House subcommittee convene today for a hearing on the troubled F-22 stealth fighter, they’ll have more in common than just an interest in the mysterious symptoms that caused some pilots to declare the plane unsafe to fly earlier this year.
All but one of the 25 subcommittee members have received contributions in the current election cycle from individuals or political action committees associated with Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the F-22, according to a Project On Government Oversight (POGO) analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
The one exception, Pennsylvania Republican Todd R. Platts, is retiring from Congress. In a 2010 op-ed piece, he said that as always his campaign was being funded solely by contributions from individual citizens and that he refused to accept contributions from special-interest groups. There are no records of his ever having accepted any funds from employees of Lockheed Martin during his congressional career, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Continue reading “Lockheed Campaign Cash Has Flowed to Members of House Panel Probing F-22 Problems”