The Lady Speaks

FEMA – Band of Fools

Anyone surprised? No? I didn’t think so.

A GAO report says the government wasted millions of dollars in Hurricane Katrina relief funds.

From the Associated Press:

The government wasted millions of dollars in its award of post-Katrina contracts for disaster relief, including at least $3 million for 4,000 beds that were never used, federal auditors said Thursday.

(snip)

Waste and mismanagement were widespread due to poor planning and miscommunication, according to the five-page briefing paper released Thursday. That led to money that was paid for work never used.

(snip)

Of more than 700 contracts valued at $500,000 or greater, more than half were awarded without competition, often to politically connected companies such as Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, Bechtel Corp. and AshBritt Inc.

(snip)

‘Previous reports of waste in the aftermath of Katrina have been bad, but this one is worse,’ said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee.

‘The Bush administration has learned nothing from its disastrous contract management in Iraq,’ he said. ‘The administration seems incapable of spending money in a way that actually meets the needs of Gulf Coast residents.’

(snip)

Among the findings:

* Non-existent 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, which housed only six occupants before being closed.

* Poor coordination between FEMA and the Army Corps 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. […]

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March 17, 2006 - Posted by | FEMA, Government, Hurricane Katrina, Politics

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