Thursday, March 16, 2006
More GOP Fiscal Irresponsibility
Today, the Government Accountability Office released its findings, reporting that the government wasted millions of dollars due to mismanagement after Katrina.

According to the report, the GAO praised government agencies for their "hard work" in securing contracts after the disaster, but said millions could have been saved if they had adopted previous GAO recommendations to hire more people, prearrange contracts and improve staff training.

Among the findings:

_Nonexistent communication with local officials led to misjudgments on the need for temporary housing. They included $3 million that FEMA spent for 4,000 base camp beds that were never used and $10 million to renovate and furnish 240 rooms in Alabama that housed only six occupants before being closed.

_Poor coordination between FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers contributed to waste in an Americold Logistics LLC's contract for ice. "The local Corps personnel were not always aware of where ice might be delivered and did not have authority ... resulting in inefficient distribution," it said.

_Inadequate planning led to the award of a Mississippi contract for classrooms without competition. "Information in the contract files suggests the negotiated prices were inflated." A review of that specific contract, with Akima Site Operations LLC, was continuing.

_FEMA had only 17 of the 27 monitors it deemed necessary to oversee the installation of temporary housing in four states, leading to inadequate controls.
The 13 Katrina contracts reviewed involve the following 12 companies: C. Henderson Consulting; Americold Logistics; Clearbrook LLC; CS&M Associates; Gulf Stream Coach Inc.; Morgan Building & Spas Inc.; Bechtel National; Fluor Enterprises Inc.; CH2M Hill Constructors Inc.; E.T.I. Inc.; Ceres Environmental Services Inc.; and Thompson Engineering Inc.

Some of the firms, including Gulf Stream Coach and Bechtel, have close ties to the Bush administration or have contributed significantly to the GOP.

It’s nice to know that the Bush administration, supposed fiscal conservatives, cost this country millions of dollars because they simply couldn’t pull themselves away from companies that fund the GOP. I wonder how much money this country would have saved if they had attempted to contact competitors, which would have saved us from paying inflated prices.

Hear that slight buzzing sound? That’s the GOP PR machine coming up with excuses. We’ll undoubtedly see its product in a few hours.

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