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Topic - Scott Amey
Strong Castle, a company headed by a former military prep-school student who never served in the armed forces, won Internal Revenue Service contracts potentially worth more than $500 million reserved for companies owned by disabled veterans.
As lawmakers take up austerity measures and the Defense Department and other agencies grapple with difficult budget choices, some contracting companies that derive their income entirely from the federal government have grown increasingly fat.
The D.C. Council chairman will hold a hearing to look into concerns about the legitimacy of a contract award to overhaul a troubled city-owned hospital before a Feb. 19 vote on the deal.
General Services Administration officials have been quick to point out that they are taking strong disciplinary action against those responsible for a lavish $823,000 Las Vegas conference funded by taxpayers that featured a red-carpet party, magic shows and in-room parties.
The D.C. Public Library system's chief business officer quietly resigned from his $164,500-a-year job last summer, but quickly won a no-bid contract that pays him the same amount of money for many of the same responsibilities — including helping to manage the library contracts office.
Though President Obama enacted new revolving-door ethics rules soon after taking office requiring a two-year "cooling off" period for appointees leaving the government, those regulations apply only to incoming appointees.
Scott Amey, general counsel of the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight said, "[Homeland Security] isn't working with a permanent inspector general, and there are concerns about whether acting [inspectors general] are as diligent in their investigations when they are seeking that appointment. Equally troubling are any attempts by federal officials to delay or alter federal investigations. It is difficult to remove politics from such situations, but it has to be done to ensure integrity in government activities."