Thursday, March 16, 2006

Suprise, Suprise, Suprise

FEMA wasted millions of dollars in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, according to the GAO.

The government wasted millions of dollars in its award of post-Katrina contracts, including at least $3 million for 4,000 beds that were never used, auditors said Thursday.

The five-page briefing paper by the Government Accountability Office, set to be released later Thursday, blamed poor planning and bad communications.

It offers the first preliminary overview of the soundness of contracts — including those awarded without competition — after the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast in August.

Waste and mismanagement were widespread due to a lack of staffing and disorganization by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Army Corps of Engineers, the report concluded.

"The government's response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita depended heavily on contractors to deliver ice, water and food supplies; patch rooftops; and provide housing to displaced residents," the report said. "FEMA did not adequately anticipate needs."

From the Times-Picayune.

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