Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The US Army Corruption of Engineers ... or ... The Pumps Don't Work Because The Vandals Hid The Scandals

posted by The Sailor @ 7:33 PM Permalink

Army Corps of Engineer is asked to explain award of New Orleans pump contract

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.
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.
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." An incorrect reference to the type of steel that would be required apparently was also lifted.
A May 2006 memo by a Corps inspector working on the project, provided to the AP earlier this year, warned that the pumps were faulty and would not work if needed to remove water during a hurricane. GAO opened its investigation after the memo surfaced.
The Corps withheld about 20 percent of MWI's contract price — including an incentive of about $5 million to deliver them by June 1, 2006 — until the flaws have been resolved. The Corps also spent $4.5 for six additional MWI pumps for use in troubleshooting the defective ones.
Now that's a sweet(heart) deal!

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