Contracting Reform

ContractPhotoThe contracts government sign with service providers can be a key point of leverage in working towards transparency and accountability in corporate political spending. By stipulating that corporations who bid for and sign contracts with the state disclose their political spending, or don’t spend at all, states and local governments can uphold the integrity of their procurement systems and give confidence to their residents and taxpayers that contracts are made based on merit, and not through financial influence in elections. More transparency in the contracting process stands to reduce corruption and undue influence, improve government effectiveness, and allow for more accountability to citizens.

Model Executive Order to Require Disclosure by Government Contractors:

The CAPS model Executive Order is an anti-corruption measure that can be implemented by state and local officials, such as governors and mayors, to require third-party service providers or contractors to publicly disclose political contributions for period prior to their business with the state or local government. The Executive Order also directs the department or agency responsible for procurement to adopt rules and regulations to enforce the order. It is based upon a draft White House Executive Order that was made public in the Spring of 2011.

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Model Language to Amend RPFs or Contracts for Disclosure or Oversight:

The following document provides model language for institutional investors, such as pension funds, to include in RFPs or contracts with third-party service providers or contractors.  It requires contractors to submit a report disclosing the contractor’s policies and procedures for political spending and certify that the contractor’s board of directors conducts oversight of political spending, and the contractor publicly discloses its spending guidelines and political spending reports.

♦   Click here to download (.pdf)


Common Cause
With 35 state organizations and a national office, Common Cause can help draft reforms and work through the process of enacting them. To find your state’s Common Cause office, go here.

 Public Citizen
Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division works to strengthen our democracy by exposing and combating the harmful impact of money in politics. Our work in this area focuses on money in politics, government ethics, lobbying reform and open government.
Address: 215 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Washington, D.C. 20003
Phone: (202) 546-4996

Research and Relevant Reports: