Study: Labor violations don’t stop gov’t contracts

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new report finds that the federal government awards billions of dollars in contracts each year to companies that routinely violate safety, health and wage regulations.

The report from Democratic leaders on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee calls for stricter measures to hold federal contractors accountable.

The study found that nearly 30 percent of companies hit with the highest penalties for federal labor law violations from 2007 to 2012 were also federal contractors.

The Obama administration says it has taken aggressive steps to hold contractors accountable. But the report says government officials often lack the information needed to evaluate companies. It says a federal database that is supposed to keep track of contractor violations was found to be missing many incidents of misconduct.