Leading Watchdog: President's Secret Order Would "Codify Corruption" into Federal Contracting

May 11, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - A secret executive order drafted by the Obama administration came under fire from government watchdogs during a recent House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on White House transparency.  The order, which was recently leaked, circumvents Congress and would require government contractors to disclose political contributions any time they apply for federal contracts. The Obama administration's union allies would not be covered under the draft order, and thus would be exempt from providing such politically sensitive information. 

In response to questions from Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton expressed alarm with the Obama administration's proposed executive order.  The watchdog believes the executive order "would codify corruption into the federal contracting process" and sets a "terrible precedent" that would have a chilling effect upon free speech and set the stage for political retaliation.  On Tuesday, the second ranking Democrat in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer, echoed Judicial Watch's concerns.

The draft executive order comes as the administration has stonewalled the Sunlight Foundation's efforts over the last six months to account for over a TRILLION DOLLARS in missing government contract spending that the Obama administration is supposed to be listing at USASpending.gov.  The executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political contributions is puzzling given the administration's failure to abide by current law and disclose the recipients of federal contracts.

###