Sam Skolnik

Senior Reporter

Sam Skolnik is a senior reporter for Bloomberg Government, covering federal procurement policy. Sam has been in the journalism business for more than two decades. He’s reported for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Las Vegas Sun, and The National Law Journal/Legal Times in Washington, and wrote the 2011 book “High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America’s Gambling Addiction” (Beacon Press).

Blog posts

Amazon’s Marketplace Tops Government’s, Air Force Official Says

The United States Air Force and Inc. have joined forces on an e-commerce pilot program that may preview a governmentwide initiative to be unveiled over the next few years.

Torture Comeback Feared as U.S. Making Key Hires, Critics Say

Torture of terrorism suspects, a practice that has fallen out of favor in the United States, could make a comeback as the Trump administration looks to fill key roles in the program charged with oversight of interrogations, say national security specialists whose research has concluded that “enhanced” interrogation techniques don’t work.

McCain Recalled As ‘Unrelenting’ Pentagon Watchdog, Reformer

No one in the modern era has had more influence on how the Defense Department purchases weapons — or how the agency keeps watch over those multibillion-dollar programs — than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who died Aug. 25 after a battle with brain cancer.

Postal Service Prepares to Splash Out Big Bucks for Mail Trucks

The U.S. Postal Service, struggling to stem billions of dollars in losses, is drawing close to a decision on a massive new contract to replace its aging mail trucks.

The agency is road-testing five prototype “Next Generation Delivery Vehicle” models for a contract worth as much as $6.3 billion -– a mix of American and overseas-based companies including defense contractor Oshkosh Corp., India-based auto maker Mahindra, and a team of Ohio-based electric vehicle manufacturer Workhorse Group Inc. and VT Hackney, part of a Singapore-based engineering company.

Pentagon Renovation

New Website Lists Barred Pentagon Contractors Getting Work

The General Services Administration has added a web page that lists Pentagon contractors that have received waivers for new contracts despite having been barred from government work because of fraud-related charges.

Fewer Contractors Barred as Government Targets Penalties

The number of contractors excluded from government work decreased for the third year in a row, with experts citing increased federal experience in targeting bad players.

In fiscal 2017, federal agencies issued 3,640 suspensions, debarments, and proposals for debarment—14 percent fewer than the 4,249 actions taken in 2016, the report released Aug. 7 from the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee found. The report was sent to Congress July 31.

Millions Flow to Pentagon’s Banned Contractors Via a Back Door

Some of the world’s largest companies have benefited from a little-known law that lets the Defense Department override decisions barring contractors accused or convicted of bribery, fraud, theft, and other crimes from doing business with the government.

Federal Spending Site Still Lacks Data After Revamp, Report Says

A recently revamped federal website designed to make contract spending information publicly accessible is plagued with major data gaps, a watchdog group reports.

For Defense Conference Committee, Less Drama Than Last Year

Several acquisition issues are in play as Congress prepares to begin work on its defense authorization conference committee, including commercial item simplification, the Pentagon’s delayed cloud computer contract, and contractor security clearances.

Regulators Seek Contractor Feedback on Use of Online Portal

Beginning next month, regulators will be asking contractors for their thoughts on a plan to increase industry use of a federal online portal for feedback on the effectiveness of agency acquisitions, according to a report to be published in the June 11 Federal Register.