Eliminating "Mystery Loopholes" in the Congress
Mystery Loophole Wouldn't Require Reporting Fraud While Abroad
By Josh White Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, March 13, 2008; A15
When Justice Department lawyers proposed adding a new rule that would require U.S. contractors to report waste, fraud or abuse they encounter while doing work for the government, they intended it to apply to all of the $350 billion in government contracts each year.
But in a twist that has evolved into a Capitol Hill mystery, the proposed rule that the White House's Office of Management and Budget published late last year includes language that would exempt from such reporting all U.S. contractors who do work overseas. There have been more than $100 billion in such contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past five years.
The exemption has riled the Justice Department, which opposes limiting the rule to domestic contracts. And the loophole has led members of Congress to call for an investigation amid concerns that someone inserted the exemption as a fav…