Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Trump: 'Great to see' Pelosi plan to lower drug prices Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices MORE (R-Iowa) questioned why Bank of America has received an exclusive prison contract without having to bid for the business.

“The government has competitive bidding for good reason. It’s meant to get taxpayers the most bang for the buck,” Grassley said Monday. “Anytime the government avoids competitive bidding, the practice needs exploration.”


Grassley said “transparency” would help determine if the federal government is truly getting the best deal by paying Bank of America to operate services for federal prison inmates, such as money transfers and e-messaging.

Grassley’s comments were prompted by a recent Center for Public Integrity report that found the Treasury Department has amended a nearly $75 million contract with Bank of America more than 20 times without opening a competitive bidding process.

Grassley said the Treasury Department has the right to make such deal, but he questioned why.

“It is concerning that these requirements do not apply to financial agency agreements such as the one with Bank of America,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewHogan urges Mnuchin to reconsider delay of Harriet Tubman bill Mnuchin says new Harriet Tubman bill delayed until 2028 Overnight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint MORE. “The Treasury Department’s decision to repeatedly amend rather than competitively bid this arrangement raises significant questions.”