No More No Bid Contracts

This is unquestionably good news:

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Wednesday ordered his administration to change how government contracts are awarded to private businesses, saying he intended to reverse some practices of the Bush administration and do away with no-bid contracts that have cost billions and led to corruption investigations.

With Senator John McCain and a few other lawmakers at his side, Mr. Obama announced that he had signed a memorandum to direct the administration to inject competition into government contracting. He said guidelines being drafted could save up to $40 billion a year, largely from military-related contracts.

“The days of giving defense contractors a blank check are over,” Mr. Obama said. “We need more competition for contracts and more oversight as they are carried out.”

It’s not just that the lack of competition was costing taxpayers billions of dollars. It’s that a lot of those contracts were going to companies like Halliburton and its subisidiary KBR, which then took the boatload of money and lack of oversight as a sign that they could engage in disgraceful behavior without fear of repercussion–behavior like trying to cover it up when their employees were guilty of rape. Mundane corruption is bad enough, but that’s truly monstrous.


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