When it comes to sporting events, nobody likes a cheater. That is why there are referees on the field, to make sure everyone is playing by the rules. So when it comes to government outsourcing, taxpayers deserve officials who are watching closely and will throw a penalty flag if contractors are getting away with cheating us.
In the Public Interest (ITPI) released a new report today outlining the myriad of problems with insufficient oversight that too often lets government contractors waste public tax dollars, commit fraud and abuse, provide poor quality of service, and put the public’s health and safety at risk.
“Standing Guard: How Unaccountable Contracting Fails Governments and Taxpayers,” provides real world examples of lax oversight, and identifies several problems that are all too common in state and local government contracts including:
- Contracts that contain inadequate performance requirements and standards;
- Governments that do not have enough experienced and trained contract managers on staff;
- Few formal rules in place concerning contract oversight practices;
- Information that reveals non-compliance is ignored by the very people who should be demanding better performance;
- Governments that actually outsource the oversight of contract performance to contractors themselves!
The consequences of lax oversight are serious, with the potential to leave our families without the public services and programs we rely on every day. It’s time we start acting as referees and blow the whistle on inadequate oversight and work with our elected officials to create a robust system that puts accountability first.
Read the report for ITPI’s recommendations on ways to improve contract oversight, and please share it with the policymakers in your network.