is a term for private companies located in or near Washington, D.C.
whose major business is to provide consulting services to the US government. The phrase was originally a mild insult, implying that the companies preyed like bandits on the largesse of the federal government, but it has lost much of its pejorative nature and is now often used as a neutral, descriptive term.
The name comes from the Capital Beltway, the ring road that surrounds Washington. (The entire road is officially called Interstate 495, although the eastern half is cosigned with Interstate 95, which traverses most of the East Coast.) The majority of private contractors are located, or at least headquartered, inside this road in order to be close to federal agencies and legislators.
Beltway Bandits is the name of a women's competitive travelling ice-hockey program in the DC area.
- Talk Abstract: Life as a Beltway Bandit, from the Institute for Defense Analyses
- Washington DC Slanguage. Defines of Beltway Bandits as consulting companies.
- A Hymn Before Battle, by John Ringo. Beltway Bandit here refers explicitly to a consulting company.
- Beltway Bandits women's ice hockey program