Do as I say and not as I do? Clinton Administration officials said they were shocked to learn on May 17 that the White House travel office had regularly used a charter airline without first seeking competitive bids. They were also upset when KPMG Peat Marwick reported that the air-charter operator had not signed a government contract. But White House officials should check out their own relationship with Peat Marwick. The legal counsel's office asked the accounting firm to conduct the review without seeking competitive bids. Nor did Peat ever sign a contract. Federal regulations require that all executive agencies seek competitive bids from outside suppliers, and that they sign contracts requiring private companies to follow various rules. The bill for this episode of rule-bending? Based on common accounting charges, at least $45,000.

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