Holding Contractors Accountable, and More from CRS

09.28.15 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

When government contractors fail to fulfill a contract or engage in some form of misconduct, there are various ways to hold them legally accountable, a new reportfrom the Congressional Research Service explains.

“This report provides an overview of selected legal mechanisms that the federal government could rely upon in holding contractors accountable for deficiencies in their performance under the contract, or for other misconduct. Not all of these mechanisms involve ‘penalties’ as that term is generally understood. In some cases, the controlling legal authority expressly provides that the government may take certain actions only to protect the government’s interest, and ‘not for purposes of punishment.’ However, in all cases, the government’s action represents a consequence of and response to the contractor’s delinquencies, and could be perceived as punitive by the contractor or other parties.”

“The report does not address prosecution of government contractors, although it is important to note that contractors could be subject to criminal penalties for misconduct related to contract performance or otherwise.”

“Also, the discussion of the government’s potential mechanisms for holding contractors accountable in this report should not be taken to mean that contractors and contractor employees are more likely to fail to perform or engage in misconduct than government employees. That is a separate debate, outside the scope of this report,” CRS said. See Legal Mechanisms Whereby the Government Can Hold Contractors Accountable, September 23, 2015.

Other new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that were published last week — but not publicly released — include the following.

The FY2016 Continuing Resolution (H.J. Res 61)CRS Insight, September 23, 2015

Economic Effects of the FY2014 ShutdownCRS Insight, September 24, 2015

Federal Support for Reproductive Health Services: Frequently Asked Questions, updated September 25, 2015

Congressional Redistricting: Legal and Constitutional Issues, September 22, 2015

DOT’s Federal Pipeline Safety Program: Background and Key Issues for Congress, September 22, 2015

Copyright Licensing in Music Distribution, Reproduction, and Public Performance, updated September 22, 2015

The Help America Vote Act and Election Administration: Overview and Issues, updated September 22, 2015

Legal Issues with Federal Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food: In Brief, updated September 22, 2015

U.S. Trade in Services: Trends and Policy Issues, updated September 22, 2015

A Framework for Understanding Health Insurance ConsolidationsCRS Insight, September 22, 2015

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress, updated September 23, 2015

Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress, updated September 23, 2015

Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress, updated September 23, 2015

Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress, updated September 22, 2015

Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress, updated September 22, 2015

Navy LX(R) Amphibious Ship Program: Background and Issues for Congress, updated September 22, 2015

Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress, updated September 21, 2015

A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense — Issues for Congress, updated September 24, 2015

See all publications
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