Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, is seeking more information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) about disaster relief contracts awarded to companies that cannot perform the work required.
Enzi wrote to FEMA Administrator William B. Long requesting additional information about two specific contract awards to Tribute Contracting LLC and Bronze Star LLC, which were the subject of recent news coverage. Tribute was awarded a $156 million contract to provide 30 million meals to victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The contract was terminated when Tribute was able to provide only 50,000 meals. Bronze Star was awarded a $30 million contract to provide emergency tarps and plastic sheeting that were never delivered.
“It appears that FEMA has not properly vetted some of the companies that receive contracts and therefore may have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars, while simultaneously denying services to citizens in need of them,” Enzi wrote. “Taxpayers have a right to expect more responsible stewardship of their hard-earned dollars.”
In the letter, Enzi asks FEMA to answer questions about how it vets and identifies contractors. He also asks for explanations as to why contracts are awarded to companies that cannot fulfill their obligations and, in some cases, have previously had contracts terminated for failure to perform. In an effort to assure tax payer dollars are being spent wisely and effectively, Enzi wants to know how much money has been paid to contractors that cannot perform and what is being done to recoup any such funds.
Read the full letter here.