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Legislation empowers Inspectors General to crackdown on wasteful spending, save taxpayer dollars

(Washington, DC) – Advancing her efforts for government oversight and fiscal responsibility, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) has introduced legislation to boost oversight and accountability when it comes to federal contractors.  The Government Contractor Accountability Act of 2013 (S.664) would make federal agencies act on Inspectors General recommendations when it comes to potential cost-saving measures or on reimbursement for poor contractor performance and cost overruns.

“This commonsense legislation would provide for much greater contractor accountability, make our federal government more efficient, and save taxpayer dollars.” Shaheen said. “Inspectors General play an important role as watchdogs within the federal government, and my bill would ensure their recommendations for cutting costs and rooting out fraud and abuse are given sufficient consideration by the federal agencies.”

The Government Contractor Accountability Act is part of an ongoing effort by Shaheen to ensure greater accountability of taxpayer dollars in government spending. A related provision sponsored by Shaheen cleared the Senate by unanimous consent last month as an amendment to the Senate FY 2014 budget resolution. The amendment also included language encouraging the presidential appointment of permanent IGs, for which Shaheen has been a vocal advocate.

As Chair of the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support in the Senate Armed Services Committee and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen has successfully fought for increased oversight in Afghanistan reconstruction spending and introduced legislation requiring federal agencies with construction contracts in Afghanistan to publicly justify their actions when ignoring recommendations from Inspectors General. The United States Air Force is currently seeking reimbursement of $4.3 million in taxpayer dollars spent on poor contactor work in Afghanistan thanks to the findings of an internal investigation Shaheen requested.  Shaheen has also spearheaded a bipartisan effort for the U.S. Army to address a backlog of contractor referrals with potential terrorist ties.