State Rep. Jay Morris (R-Monroe) noticed something fishy about the new “Shelter At Home Program” contract that the governor’s office is asking for bids on. Companies only had 24 hours to prepare and submit complex information for a $1 billion contract.
The contract is for distributing aid to help people with flooded homes. There will be a lot of money handed out.
Here are some excerpts:
Under SAH, the State will contract directly with one or more construction firms capable of delivering minor, critical services on a large scale and that possess or can obtain the resources required to deliver in an expedited manner. Simultaneously, the State will direct contract with a firm to provide Program Management support to the State to help manage and control this effort. If a respondent is selected for the Program Management contract, the respondent will not be considered for a repair services contract. The purpose of this RFEI is to solicit interest from consultants with previous experience in disaster recovery programs through FEMA’s Individual Assistance (IA) and/or Public Assistance (PA) Program(s) and HUD’s CDBG program. Responses to this RFEI, in the form outlined in the Expression of Interest Response along with a one hour interview, will be used to select a single program management firm. The successful Respondent (hereafter “Contractor”) shall be immediately engaged in establishing and administering SAH program under guidelines recently established by FEMA for the August 2016 Flood. A more detailed Scope of Services is contained in Exhibit A. It is also anticipated, but not guaranteed, that the services under the resulting contract may expand to accommodate other programs yet to be defined, including programs occurring as a result of the August 2016 Flood as well as past and future disasters.
Basically, a general contractor will be in charge of handing out the money.
Louisiana anticipates receiving up to 30,000 applications with approximately 13,500 homes eligible for repair, but there is no guarantee of the number of units to be served, as ability to estimate at this point in time is extremely limited. Work under these contracts will be generally consistent with conducting emergency disaster operations pursuant to the Stafford Act, as amended. The State will procure the services of multiple construction firms (“SAH Contractors”) to implement the temporary restoration of necessary services in single dwelling residences in damaged areas. SAH Contractors will be chosen based on experience in rendering similar services and local capacity to obtain materials and provide services on an expedited basis. SAH Contractor(s) is expected to be able to complete all work orders by September 30, 2016, but not later than December 31, 2016. The State desires to have as many people as possible back in their homes by year’s end. To maximize work efficiencies, the State reserves the right to adjust workloads among the contractors on a weekly basis depending on performance, until all properties enlisted in the program are complete.
Only a huge company could do this, such as the Shaw Group – or perhaps Brown & Root, the company former Shaw CEO (and former Louisiana Democrat Party chairman) Jim Bernhard is currently heading up.
The Contractor retained through this RFEI will be responsible for determining the eligibility of applicants pursuant to the State’s SAH program guidelines, as may be amended and providing overall project management of the SAH measures performed by the SAH Contractors. Neither the Contractor nor a related entity may serve as a SAH Repair Contractor.
So only one contractor will decide if you’re eligible for storm aid. Yep, no potential for favoritism or punishing ones’ political enemies here.
65 percent of the scoring of the bids will be based on “technical approach” and only 35 percent based on cost.
This won’t be a lowest-bidder contract. Do political campaign donations to the governor count as “technical approach?” Asking for a friend.
The only way a company can get this contract is if they were already tipped off by someone in the governor’s office or they had someone in mind. This brings back the lessons we should have learned from the Road Home program debacle which is we should competitively bid out something like this and not hang our hat on one company. It just looks bad and will probably turn out bad.