POGO: Penalized contractors kept winning contracts

Nine technology and professional services companies are among the 25 suspended or debarred firms that improperly won federal contracts following those penalties, a watchdog group said today.

The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) said in a report today  that 25 contractors were awarded additional contracts in fiscal 2006 and 2007 despite being banned from getting more federal business.

The group said it got the list from the Government Accountability Office, which on Feb. 26 released a report on its investigation of 25 companies that continued to win contracts despite being listed on the General Services Administration’s Excluded Parties List System. The system maintains information on contractors suspended or debarred from doing business with the federal government because of fraud, theft or other violations.

Most of the companies are involved in construction, manufacturing and maintenance services; and nine are in technology fields. They received additional contracts primarily because of errors by contracting officers, including failures to check the list system database, incorrect searches on the database, misspellings of names and incorrect punctuation, POGO said.

For a complete list of the contractors in the report, go to POGO's web site.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Reader Comments

Fri, Mar 27, 2009 tota

Ms. Lipowicz might want to report the facts from the report alongside POGO's comments. POGO is well known for having sensationalist viewpoints, anything to advance their agenda. For instance Dr, Kellman often goes toe to toe with them about their oten skewed comments. Give readers the facts from the report along with POGO's comments and let us readers decide what's valid or not.

Fri, Mar 27, 2009 oakton

This is OLD news. The GAO report broke a month ago. POGO has an interesting way of interpreting the report. As I remember the report (it was so long ago that I'm not sure of the exact numbers) I think there were two or three instances of Contracting Officers failing to search the list. This is not "primarily because of errors by Contracting Officers" as POGO suggests, it is primarily because of the lack of a robust search capability. The lack of a comma should not produce a search result that says there are no results for a contractor that is listed. COs have an incredible work load these days and let's not put a technology deficiency off on the very people who are trying to make things work. Fix the problem!!!

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