We already know FEMA screwed up with Katrina, but some may be wondering how much more damage will be done by the inadequate agency. The latest controversy involves the ongoing management of temporary housing contracts and future awards promised to small, local businesses in and around the recovering region.
Pam Fessler from NPR’s Morning Edition reports,
The 36 contracts are huge — up to $100 million each — to take care of thousands of trailers and mobile homes now housing hurricane victims on the Gulf Coast. FEMA decided to make the awards after it was criticized for giving no-bid contracts to four large national firms in the hectic days right after the storm.
Tim White, of White Haul Transport, a manufactured-housing firm in Mississippi, was disappointed when FEMA rejected his bid. And he was angry when he saw the list of preliminary winners.
“Of the five, three of them were out of state,” White said. “And I was surprised at that, because it was our understanding that out-of-state companies, their bid prices would be adjusted up 30 percent in order to allow Mississippi companies to be more competitive.”
White decided to do some investigating, and what he found disturbed him even more. One winner was PRI/DJI, a joint venture of two California firms, Project Resources Inc. and Del-Jen Inc. It turns out that Del-Jen is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fluor, one of the four large firms that received the initial no-bid contracts.”
To read the rest of the story, click this link.