Sunday, October 09, 2005

This Month's Golden Fleece Award Goes To...

...the Federal Government.

The Transportation Safety Administration suddenly can't remember why a contract to hire passenger screeners suddenly cost $343 million dollars more than it should have, according to the Washington Post.

In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the government changed a contract to hire federal airline passengers screeners in a way that cost taxpayers an additional $343 million. More than three years later, officials cannot explain exactly why.

Homeland security officials say they have no memos, e-mails or other paperwork to document the reason for the change, as required by federal contracting regulations.
They have also offered accounts of the decision that conflict with internal government documents obtained by The Washington Post.
[Emphasis added]

The company involved had intended to use their own testing centers for the job, but apparently the government thought using pricey hotels might be more appropriate.

By March 29, 2002, the decision had been made to start using hotels. Within months, the program would include some of the nation's finest. Among them: the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan; the Hawk's Cay Resort in Duck Key, Fla.; the Wyndham Peaks Resort and Golden Door Spa in Telluride, Colo.

Think about it: instead of using the company's already existing and staffed buildings, the company had to set up and dismantle centers in large hotels. Of course that costs money. The decision by the TSA contracting department is at best stupid. However, the fact that there is no evidence as to why and how the decision was made, coupled with the fact that the TSA is now giving out rather nebulous excuses can only mean more than stupidity was involved.

Read the whole Wapo story. It'll make you laugh, even while it makes your pocket book ache.


Blogger Eli said...

Sounds like a whole lotta free vacations on the taxpayer dime to me.

2:55 PM  

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