Another Flawed Tool: Planned Contractor Database

January 26, 2011

Investigative reporters looking for environmental back-scratching, log-rolling, feather-bedding — or worse — have long dreamed of access to a really good database of federal contracts. While some imperfect tools have been available, it appears the best is … still … yet to come.

The federal government is planning a contractor database, but the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit watchdog group, is complaining that federal plans for it omit exactly the information investigative types want most. That includes information about each contractor's past wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, one of the best available tools is POGO's own online Federal Contractor Misconduct Database. Yes, some of the heavies do indeed have major environment and energy contracts. POGO's page also links to lots of other databases gumshoes will find valuable.

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