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Federal Acquisition Reform Bill Passes House

Despite calls from the Bush administration to defeat legislation that would tighten the reins on government contracts and limit federal work to overseas companies, the House passed the bill Thursday on a bipartisan basis, 347 to 73.

The Accountability in Contracting Act (H.R. 1362) would make major changes to federal acquisition regulations, by requiring additional auditing of contractors and clarifying post-government employment rules for federal procurement personnel and limiting the length and use of sole-source contracts.

Lawmakers have pushed for tighter restrictions with a growing number of federal procurement scandals and frequent use of sole-source contracts for Iraq reconstruction projects popping up.

Earlier this week, the administration urged lawmakers to defeat the bill because it would impose a new statutory ban on how the government uses acquisition personnel and would restrict the executive branch’s ability to determine the appropriate funding for acquisition workforce functions.

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