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OCTOBER 31, 2003
12:29 PM
CONTACT:  Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington
Naomi Seligman
202.628.7772 ext 126.

CREW, Legal Watchdog Group, to Testify at Senate Democratic Policy Hearing Monday, Nov. 3 "Contracting Abuses in Iraq"
WASHINGTON - October 31 - In rebuilding Iraq, the United States has embarked on the most ambitious reconstruction effort any nation has undertaken in more than fifty years. Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW), will testify Monday, November 3, 2003 at 1:30 PM at 562 Dirksen Senate Office Building at a Senate Democratic Policy Hearing entitled “Contracting Abuses in Iraq.”

The Bush Administration has asked the American people to contribute $18.5 billion for reconstruction in Iraq. Unfortunately, the Administration has adopted a non-transparent, non-competitive bidding process for awarding Iraqi reconstruction contracts. Despite Administration claims that the process is becoming more competitive, the irregular procurement process has given rise to allegations of cronyism, overcharging, shoddy work, waste and corruption.

Senate Democrats have called this hearing to examine the extent of contracting abuses in Iraq and consider ways to ensure greater transparency, competitiveness, and accountability. Witnesses will include a representative from a government watchdog group, a procurement expert, and an executive from an American company that has been excluded from the non-competitive contracting process.

“The cronyism in the government contracting process, to the clear detriment to the American taxpayer, is particularly disturbing in the contracts awarded to major corporations to rebuild Iraq.”

WHO: US Senator Byron Dorgan (D-SD)

Melanie Sloan, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

Steven Schooner, George Washington University Law School

Chellie Pingree, Common Cause

WHAT: Senate Democratic Policy Hearing, “Contracting Abuses in Iraq.”

WHEN: Monday, November 3, 2003

WHERE: 562 Dirksen Senate Office Building

TIME: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a new public interest legal watchdog group. CREW brings cases exposing government officials who betray the public interest by serving special interests.


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