A U.S. House study has found that the government awarded 70 percent of its contracts for Hurricane Katrina work without full competition, wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in the process.
The report, released today by House Democrats, is a comprehensive overview of government audits on Katrina contracting. It found that out of ten point six (b) billion dollars in contracts awarded after the storm last year, more than seven point four (b) billion were handed out with limited or no competitive bidding.
The report also cited numerous instances of double-billing by contractors and cases of trailers meant as emergency housing sitting empty in Arkansas.
Aaron Walker is a national spokesman for the Homeland Security Department's Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is the primary agency for awarding hurricane contracts. Walker says FEMA was already working to improve its contracting process based on "previously issued, non-politicized, reports."
In their report, Democrats acknowledged that some no-bid contracts were necessary to provide quick aid in the immediate aftermath of the storm. But they noted that while 51 percent of Katrina contracts awarded in September were limited or no-bid, that percentage increased to 93 percent in October.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.