Saturday, March 18, 2006
The alternative, rejected after a bruising interagency debate, was to build them each a mansion in Baton Rouge:
In the aftermath of Katrina, the feds spent $10 million to renovate and furnish 240 rooms in Alabama that housed just six hurricane survivors, congressional investigators found.We hope Ms. Andrews is a speedy revamper. Disaster profiteers are no doubt licking their chops over a new report in Science, predicting heavy weather ahead in 2006.
Authorities also spent $3 million on 4,000 beds that were never slept in and blew a fortune on ice that was not needed . . . .
The Government Accountability Office's review of 13 major contracts revealed that poor planning by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and miscommunication resulted in widespread waste. The renovated rooms in Alabama, for example, were in military barracks at the Army's Fort McClellan . . . .
Of more than 700 contracts worth $500,000 and up, more than half were doled out without seeking lowest bids. Many went to firms like Bechtel and Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, which have close ties to the Bush administration and the Republican Party.
FEMA spokeswoman Nicole Andrews said the agency is revamping the way it awards emergency contracts as it prepares for this year's hurricane season.