[Vision2020] Post-Katrina Pump Bidding Scrutinized

lfalen lfalen at turbonet.com
Tue May 1 10:25:22 PDT 2007

Let the investigation proceed. All contracts should be above board. It does not make any difference whether it its Bush, Clinton, Republican or Democrat. I hope Waxman get a handle on the mess in Iraq.

-----Original message-----
From: "Tom Hansen" thansen at moscow.com
Date: Tue, 01 May 2007 06:22:10 -0700
To: "Vision 2020" vision2020 at moscow.com
Subject: [Vision2020] Post-Katrina Pump Bidding Scrutinized

> >From today's (May 1, 2007) Spokesman Review -
> "MWI employed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, President Bush's brother, to
> market its pumps during the 1980s, and top MWI officials have been major
> contributors to the Republican Party."
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Post-Katrina pump bidding scrutinized 
> Company had GOP connections, delivered defective products
> Cain Burdeau 
> Associated Press
> May 1, 2007
> NEW ORLEANS - When the Army Corps of Engineers solicited bids for drainage
> pumps for New Orleans, it copied the specifications - typos and all - from
> the catalog of the manufacturer that ultimately won the $32 million
> contract, a review of documents by the Associated Press found.
> The pumps, supplied by Moving Water Industries Corp., of Deerfield Beach,
> Fla., and installed at canals before the start of the 2006 hurricane season,
> proved to be defective, as the AP reported in March. The matter is under
> investigation by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm
> of Congress.
> In a letter dated April 13, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., called on the Corps to
> look into how the politically connected company got the post-Hurricane
> Katrina contract. MWI employed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, President
> Bush's brother, to market its pumps during the 1980s, and top MWI officials
> have been major contributors to the Republican Party.
> While it may not be a violation of federal regulations to adopt a company's
> technical specifications, it is frowned on, especially for large jobs like
> the MWI contract, because it could give the impression the job was rigged
> for the benefit of a certain company, contractors familiar with Corps
> practices say.
> The Corps' January 2006 call for bids for 34 pumps used the wording on how
> the pumps should be built and tested, with minor changes, found in MWI
> catalogs.
> The specifications were so similar that an erroneous phrase in MWI catalogs
> - "the discharge tube and head assembly shall be abrasive resistance steel"
> - also appears in the Corps specifications. The phrase should say "abrasion
> resistant steel." 
> Eugene Pawlik, a Corps spokesman in Washington, said the agency is working
> on a response to Vitter's letter.
> MWI declined to discuss how it won the contract. GAO would not talk about
> its probe.
> Richard White, a federal contracting expert, said it is "not unheard for a
> spec to be copied, in particular in cases of emergency purchases."
> "It's not a good practice, but it's not anything egregious, especially if
> the Corps allowed other companies to negotiate to change it," White said.
> After Katrina swamped about 80 percent of the city, Congress appropriated
> $5.7 billion to rebuild New Orleans' flood protection systems. Vitter and
> Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., have excoriated the Corps over its workmanship
> since Katrina.
> In his letter to the commander of the Corps, Vitter said the bid
> solicitation for the pumps "includes specifications identical to those
> written and marketed by Moving Water Industries."
> A May 2006 memo by a Corps inspector, provided to the AP earlier this year,
> warned the pumps were faulty.
> The Corps and MWI insist the pumps would have worked, but last year's mild
> hurricane season never put them to the test. The pumps have been overhauled
> and are being reinstalled.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Seeya round town, Moscow.
> Tom Hansen
> Moscow, Idaho
> **************************************************************
> "A bad cause will ever be supported by bad means and bad men." 
> - Thomas Paine (English Writer, 1737-1809)
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