WaPo analysis shows at least a billion in stim money going to shady contractors

Rick Moran
A little graft, a little corruption - who's counting when we're creating and "saving" jobs?

Kimberly Kindy writing in the Washington Post looked into who is getting some of these contracts and it ain't pretty:

So far, 33 federal departments and agencies have awarded more than $1.2 billion in stimulus contracts to at least 30 companies that are ranked by one watchdog group as among the most egregious offenders of state and federal laws.Government records show that as a group, these contractors have sold defective products, manufactured safety tests, submitted false travel claims and padded contracts with fraudulent fees.

"Even a simple Google search could raise red flags about some contractors' performance," said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.).

Honeywell International, for example, is defending itself against a Justice Department lawsuit accusing it of selling defective shields for bulletproof vests to the Defense and Homeland Security departments, costing the federal government tens of millions of dollars. But that did not prevent the company from winning $2.9 million in stimulus contracts from the Air Force.

On a larger scale, UT-Battelle, a partnership of the University of Tennessee and Battelle Memorial Institute, has been awarded 43 Recovery Act contracts worth more than $331 million by the Department of Energy for work at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In every instance, competitive bidding rules were waived, but officials said the contracts were largely extensions of competitively bid work that was already underway at the site.

As long as the goal of creating or "saving" jobs is met, it doesn't matter how much these contractors are fleecing the taxpayer.

Yes, the administration ordered that contracts to crooked contractors not be let and competitive bidding rules be followed. But that's sort of like King Canute standing on the sea shore ordering the tides not to come in. As long as billions in what is essentially free money is made available, every shark, shyster, charlatan, and crook will smell it out and try to grab their share.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

 


A little graft, a little corruption - who's counting when we're creating and "saving" jobs?

Kimberly Kindy writing in the Washington Post looked into who is getting some of these contracts and it ain't pretty:

So far, 33 federal departments and agencies have awarded more than $1.2 billion in stimulus contracts to at least 30 companies that are ranked by one watchdog group as among the most egregious offenders of state and federal laws.

Government records show that as a group, these contractors have sold defective products, manufactured safety tests, submitted false travel claims and padded contracts with fraudulent fees.

"Even a simple Google search could raise red flags about some contractors' performance," said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.).

Honeywell International, for example, is defending itself against a Justice Department lawsuit accusing it of selling defective shields for bulletproof vests to the Defense and Homeland Security departments, costing the federal government tens of millions of dollars. But that did not prevent the company from winning $2.9 million in stimulus contracts from the Air Force.

On a larger scale, UT-Battelle, a partnership of the University of Tennessee and Battelle Memorial Institute, has been awarded 43 Recovery Act contracts worth more than $331 million by the Department of Energy for work at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In every instance, competitive bidding rules were waived, but officials said the contracts were largely extensions of competitively bid work that was already underway at the site.

As long as the goal of creating or "saving" jobs is met, it doesn't matter how much these contractors are fleecing the taxpayer.

Yes, the administration ordered that contracts to crooked contractors not be let and competitive bidding rules be followed. But that's sort of like King Canute standing on the sea shore ordering the tides not to come in. As long as billions in what is essentially free money is made available, every shark, shyster, charlatan, and crook will smell it out and try to grab their share.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky