Politics

Obama to Change Government Contracting Procedures

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Here’s some change we can believe in:

President Barack Obama plans to change how government contracts are awarded and who can earn them, a move his aides say would save taxpayers about $40 billion a year by making the process more competitive.

Obama is to sign a presidential memo Wednesday that changes government contracting procedures, an administration official said on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the decision before it was announced.

Obama’s directive would order Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, to work with Cabinet and agency officials to draft new contracting rules by the end of September. Those new rules, officials said, would make it more difficult for contractors to bilk taxpayers and make some half-trillion dollars in federal contracts each year more accessible to independent contractors.

Without details, it’s hard to critique the plan. But I like the spirit of the idea. Anything that makes the government contract system less corrupt and costly is a good thing. Maybe the free market has some use after all.