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Here’s some change we can believe in:

President Barack Obama plans to change how government contracts are awarded and who can earn them, a move his aides say would save taxpayers about $40 billion a year by making the process more competitive.

Obama is to sign a presidential memo Wednesday that changes government contracting procedures, an administration official said on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the decision before it was announced.

Obama’s directive would order Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, to work with Cabinet and agency officials to draft new contracting rules by the end of September. Those new rules, officials said, would make it more difficult for contractors to bilk taxpayers and make some half-trillion dollars in federal contracts each year more accessible to independent contractors.

Without details, it’s hard to critique the plan. But I like the spirit of the idea. Anything that makes the government contract system less corrupt and costly is a good thing. Maybe the free market has some use after all.

  • http://dcbark.blogspot.com upton

    I’m trying to skirt the critique issue by deconstructing the original story with my first opinions, with an update later about the details, once released. I’m excited to see how it goes.

  • Trescml

    I saw his press conference and I don’t think we will see the details for a while. I like the idea and I know the budget will beef up the areas of contract management. The problem is going to be that when you go after contractors there are House and Senate members willing to jump in and fight for ever dollar going to their district even if it is fraud or wasteful. I hope Obama can make it stick because the government will need every dollar to be spent wisely as we tackle the economy, bad banks, and what I think the next big crisis will be pension funds that are worthless.

  • http://www.dolphin-software.com Ronan Lavelle

    If the recent Contract Management related issues being experienced by the City of New Orleans (see: http://dolphinsoftware.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/poor-contract-management-costs-the-city-of-new-orleans-4-million-on-a-single-project/) are reflective of government contracting in the US, then it is high time that contracting rules are updated.

    Proper contract management in government is not just a moral issue, it should be demanded by every tax payer as a way to avoid the vast sums of money being wasted every year through poor risk and obligations management.