Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said that the Justice Department’s regarding the hiring of monitors federal oversight contracts are encouraging, but he doesn’t think they go far enough.
“The Department's new policies regarding the selection and use of monitors is an overdue step to make sure that lucrative contracts are not funneled to insiders, including former political office-holders and appointees,” he said in a statement.
But, he added, “I am disappointed that the policy does not appear to address possible excessive compensation in some of these agreements, such as the contract worth as much as $52 million directed by New Jersey U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie to former Attorney General John Ashcroft’s consulting firm.”
Leahy wrote to Attorney General Michael Mukasey in January seeking a list of all federal monitoring contracts assigned to outside lawyers since 2001, along with details of the procedures by which the firms were selected.
Now, two months later, Leahy said that he still has not received a response.
“These new policies may be a step in the right direction, but I still await important answers to questions I asked the Attorney General two months ago about these contracts, their amounts, and how they have been awarded and implemented.”