The Katrina Disaster In Retrospect Essay

1208 words - 5 pages

The Katrina Disaster in Retrospect

By James McNair

Contract Administration and Management- Bus 330


James McNair

The problem with the contracting out in the aftermath of the Katrina disaster is that the Government neglected small business. In Katrina’s aftermath the government first decided to start doing the work their selves. Eventually they contracted a no-bid contract when there were plenty of local companies. When they decided to give bids to large companies they were going against the Stafford Act which requires officials to give preference to state and local companies and individuals in awarding federal contracts. It is recorded that about 6 percent of the ...view middle of the document...

” (govexec) It’s important to have oversight in these situations. Who allowed them to go down there? This question is important because instead of deploying defense personnel beforehand the government could have easily decided to put a bid out. The problem was that they did not say the incident was of national significance before the storm hit even though they knew how big of an issue this was before hand. When they realized how disasteious this situation was going to become they should have thought it necessary to have plans in place for the coming problems. No one at FEMA looked at this situation objectively. Even the Department of Defense claims that their deployment was mounted at the last minute, though they profess it to be the quickest and largest civil support mission in America’s history. While that sounds good it’s important to understand that there was no oversight for this operation being that this is the case it would be close to impossible to set up a legitimate bid for a contract during that time.


James McNair

Their complete lack of coordination became apparent when it was evident that Security Secretary Michael Chertoff named a PFO a day after the storm hit. There was no plan for what happened. Also because of the politically charged atmosphere it’s no surprise what happened next.

It’s evident that the government likes to play favorite to certain companies. Their decision to give contracts to large irresponsible companies this round lead to the careless acts down on the gulf coast. FEMA’s careless bidding process lead to the giving away contracts that were both to high a cost and too low of a cost. Most important FEMA did not take the steps necessary to make sure that local and small companies operated in Katrina’s aftermath. These reckless behaviors lead to the hiring of large firms with no ties to the region and questionable ties to the Republican Party. None of FEMA’s steps were within the guidelines set up for this type of situation. Moreover FEMA would argue that during this type of disaster regular laws and policies do not apply, which undoubtedly questions FEMA’s intriguty. Not only are thoughs involved neglecting the economic repercussions dealt to those of the are they were also wasteful


James McNair

“Based on our analysis we concluded that FEMA contracting officials exposed the agency to an unacceptable level of risk… detail mismanagement in a multibillion-dollar hurricane recovery effort that investigators say has already wasted more than $1 billon.”(MiamiHerald)

They have neglected to be accountable...

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