SLABBED Daily – June 18

Two topics I thought could not possibly be news – a Congressman’s affair and clutter – have proven newsworthy after all.

Reporting the first, I leave to Talking Points and take the one I know something about – clutter – although I’m not the one who made the mess at FEMA: Disaster Contracts Lost and Misplaced – DHS IG Finds Piles of Boxes and Papers.

With Hurricane season just over 2 weeks old the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General has released a report finding that FEMA needs to improve how it handles it’s disaster management contracts finding lost files, misplaced boxes and general shambles in the offices that oversaw billions of dollars of contracts. The DHS audit focuses on

FEMA’s Acquisition Management Division (AMD) which oversees the contracting of services during a disaster ranging from shelter, to food and ice shipments and other essential services…

Central file storage room of FEMA's Acquisition Management Division - Before and After
Central file storage room of FEMA's Acquisition Management Division - Before and After

The Inspector General’s review noted that part of the problem with finding the records could be attributed to the moving of the Acquisition Management Division’s offices from FEMA’s Headquarters building to a location called Patriot’s Plaza about 2 blocks away in downtown Washington. The result of the move had the centralized file room strewn with open and ripped boxes, folder’s laying about and stacks of papers laying around which contained the contracts…

According to the report FEMA has now organized a central records facility for the contracts and documents. The official leading the project told the audit team in the report, “There was no formal system in place and no one was responsible for centrally managing or monitoring the contract files.”  The report notes that as of October 2008 80% of the files have been organized and scanned into an electronic database…

Asked about the Inspector General report at a press conference today FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said he was still reviewing the report and said, “I will not be surprised to find that I’m going to agree with a lot of the findings.  That[‘s] one of the things that we started doing with the post-Katrina emergency management reform act was to build an acquisition staff and bring in people to manage and acquire and do things in such a way — We didn’t really have that capability in earlier disasters, so it was a challenge.”

No wonder they decided to no longer provide ice!

3 thoughts on “SLABBED Daily – June 18”

  1. Damn papers can’t deal with em, can’t burn em either. Sounds like a nightmare for anyone having to sort it all out. With 80% sorted the chance it was an intentional hiding of papers is 20%. ha!

  2. I first saw that story on a blog named:
    “Mock, Paper, Scissors”! Hahahaha

    Hey Y’all…. we did it again! HA!
    http://noladder.blogspot.com/2009/06/jeudi_18.html
    Not that yer oh’so humble Editilla had aaaanything to do with this Corps Busting mind you… really… I’m tollin’yaz… it’s true… I swear…I con’tell you don’beeleeeeeeve meeeee!
    hehehe….
    You have to be alive to remember the Jaguar.
    I will say this…it just doesn’t get any better, real carnival, like shooting voodoo dolls in a fish bowl with a sawed-off shotgun loaded with 12-gauge double-00 Lucky Beads!

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