Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

I’m sure folks in the procurement community are aware of the emergency contracting activities of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which has been in the news after awarding a $300 million contract to a small Montana-based company called Whitefish. (For background, we covered this article in our Newswire daily email.)

The contract is currently being reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to determine whether the appropriate procurement processes were followed by PREPA, and what involvement (if any) the federal government had in the outcome. While it may be coincidental, Whitefish is based in the same hometown as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and, according to recent press, only had two employees when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.

On the other side of the equation, Whitefish has specialized experience in “difficult and mountainous terrain projects” and was one of 7 companies interviewed by PREPA. So perhaps the award decision makes perfect sense.

At any rate, the questions raised by this story as they relate to public procurement are notable and worth asking. Here are a few that I have:

1 – How do you balance the need to move quickly in a contingency situation with the need to award best value procurements?
2 – What are the appropriate tradeoffs we need to be comfortable with in contingency contracting when it comes to transparency?
3 – What are the tradeoffs in terms of competition in contracting & speed to contract?

What does everyone think? What questions does this story raise for you?

——————————
Frank McNally
Director, Learning & Content Development
——————————

0

Replies

  1. Thanks, Prof Sandor, for that update about actual wages versus OH costs. If there was one thing that had me defending Whitefish price reasonableness, it was the idea that there’s no choice but to pay a premium to the worker. But that’s not the case, after all. An emergency mobilization to a disaster area seems to be able to hire linemen at something close to union rates. So now I wonder what it would take to weed this sort of OH markup out of the award selection process. I mean, we can talk about ethics all day, but when we come right down to it, there has to be a fair mechanism for prequalification or award trade-off that recognizes the corruption flag in the pile of overhead (heh, heh – I’m getting a bit too graphic, here). Should we therefore conduct all similar (high uncertainty; act of god landscape) awards as trade-offs that require cost and price analysis? Or should we cut them off at prequalification – if you’re friends with a Cabinet or Congressional delegation, you won’t even be considered! Of course, there are all sorts of options between those two.

    I’m rather late to this conversation. But I think the ideas are still important, and I’d like to hear more. Call me crazy, but I think there may be another hurricane – and even another politically-connected contractor – someday.

    ——————————
    Mark Nadeau
    Mark Nadeau
    ——————————
    ——————————————-
    Original Message:
    Sent: 11-12-2017 18:02
    From: Joseph Sandor
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    ΓÇïAn update lest we think that un-capitalized friends of the GOP administration aren’t qualified here: “SAN JUAN – The small energy outfit from Montana that won a $300 million contract to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s tattered power grid had few (read 2 – neither with “working” credentials) employees of its own, so it did what the Puerto Rican authorities could have done: It turned to my home state, Florida for workers.

    For their trouble, the six electrical workers from Kissimmee are earning $42 an hour, plus overtime. The senior power linemen from Lakeland are earning $63 an hour working in Puerto Rico, the Florida utility said. Their 40 co-workers from Jacksonville, also linemen, are making up to $100 earning double time, public records show.

    But the Montana company that hired the workers, Whitefish Energy Holdings, had a contract that allowed it to bill the Puerto Rican public power company, known as Prepa, $319 an hour for linemen, a rate that industry experts said was far above the norm even for emergency work – and almost 17 times the average salary of their counterparts in Puerto Rico.

    A spokesman for Whitefish, Chris Chiames, defended the costs, saying that “simply looking at the rate differential does not take into account Whitefish’s overhead costs,” which were built into the rate.┬á Good work if you can get it!

    ——————————
    Joseph Sandor
    Professor
    Michigan State University
    ——————————

    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-31-2017 23:22
    From: Raj Sharma
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    Good discussion.  I would only say that this highlights three key skill set and planning issues:

    • Risk management and business acumen- basic risk assessment and business acumen here would tell you that there is significant risk associated with awarding such a large contract to a company with two employees, regardless of their business model.
    • Contingency planning market research┬á – given the hurricane was coming and there was sufficient warning, this should have been a top priority with vendors and other sources lined up.┬á Also, if there were strong market research skills, they would’ve already had some level of knowledge of potential players.

    To me, this is fundamentally about skills. Yes politics and corruption could get in the way.  But I would first bet on skills and capability of the team.

    ——————————
    Raj Sharma
    Public Spend Forum
    Washington DC

    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-31-2017 17:17
    From: Joseph Sandor
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    ΓÇïy’all are correct, of course.┬á Just trying to suggest framing principles that can begin to replace or at least augment legal compliance / visibility.┬á Although there’s lots of grey area, contracting ethics is usually straightforward.┬á Arguably, Blackwater, Whitefish, et al are obviously unethical or perceptively improper – let’s empower people at the operational level to speak up when the emperor is naked

    ——————————
    Joseph Sandor
    Professor
    Michigan State University

    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-31-2017 10:34
    From: Jaime Gracia
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    I wish there was this much focus on the tens of billions that were wasted, and continue to be wasted, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tens of billions are still unaccounted for, and no one batted an eye. Several contracts were awarded similar to Whitefish, such as the Lincoln Group for paid propaganda, KBR/Halliburton, and of course the dubious contracts with Blackwater.

    Thankfully this contract did not have the opportunity to remain in the shadows, and a terrible situation has been averted.

    ——————————
    Jaime Gracia
    President & CEO
    Seville Government Consulting
    jgracia@sevillegovcon.com
    (202) 716-0122

    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-30-2017 12:11
    From: Frank McNally
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    I’m sure folks in the procurement community are aware of the emergency contracting activities of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which has been in the news after awarding a $300 million contract to a small Montana-based company called Whitefish. (For background, we covered this article in our Newswire daily email.)

    The contract is currently being reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to determine whether the appropriate procurement processes were followed by PREPA, and what involvement (if any) the federal government had in the outcome. While it may be coincidental, Whitefish is based in the same hometown as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and, according to recent press, only had two employees when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.

    On the other side of the equation, Whitefish has specialized experience in “difficult and mountainous terrain projects” and was one of 7 companies interviewed by PREPA. So perhaps the award decision makes perfect sense.

    At any rate, the questions raised by this story as they relate to public procurement are notable and worth asking. Here are a few that I have:

    1 – How do you balance the need to move quickly in a contingency situation with the need to award best value procurements?
    2 – What are the appropriate tradeoffs we need to be comfortable with in contingency contracting when it comes to transparency?
    3 – What are the tradeoffs in terms of competition in contracting & speed to contract?

    What does everyone think? What questions does this story raise for you?

    ——————————
    Frank McNally
    Director, Learning & Content Development
    ——————————

    0
  2. ΓÇïAn update lest we think that un-capitalized friends of the GOP administration aren’t qualified here: “SAN JUAN – The small energy outfit from Montana that won a $300 million contract to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s tattered power grid had few (read 2 – neither with “working” credentials) employees of its own, so it did what the Puerto Rican authorities could have done: It turned to my home state, Florida for workers.

    For their trouble, the six electrical workers from Kissimmee are earning $42 an hour, plus overtime. The senior power linemen from Lakeland are earning $63 an hour working in Puerto Rico, the Florida utility said. Their 40 co-workers from Jacksonville, also linemen, are making up to $100 earning double time, public records show.

    But the Montana company that hired the workers, Whitefish Energy Holdings, had a contract that allowed it to bill the Puerto Rican public power company, known as Prepa, $319 an hour for linemen, a rate that industry experts said was far above the norm even for emergency work – and almost 17 times the average salary of their counterparts in Puerto Rico.

    A spokesman for Whitefish, Chris Chiames, defended the costs, saying that “simply looking at the rate differential does not take into account Whitefish’s overhead costs,” which were built into the rate.┬á Good work if you can get it!

    ——————————
    Joseph Sandor
    Professor
    Michigan State University
    ——————————
    ——————————————-
    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-31-2017 23:22
    From: Raj Sharma
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    Good discussion.  I would only say that this highlights three key skill set and planning issues:

    • Risk management and business acumen- basic risk assessment and business acumen here would tell you that there is significant risk associated with awarding such a large contract to a company with two employees, regardless of their business model.
    • Contingency planning market research┬á – given the hurricane was coming and there was sufficient warning, this should have been a top priority with vendors and other sources lined up.┬á Also, if there were strong market research skills, they would’ve already had some level of knowledge of potential players.

    To me, this is fundamentally about skills. Yes politics and corruption could get in the way.  But I would first bet on skills and capability of the team.

    ——————————
    Raj Sharma
    Public Spend Forum
    Washington DC
    ——————————

    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-31-2017 17:17
    From: Joseph Sandor
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    ΓÇïy’all are correct, of course.┬á Just trying to suggest framing principles that can begin to replace or at least augment legal compliance / visibility.┬á Although there’s lots of grey area, contracting ethics is usually straightforward.┬á Arguably, Blackwater, Whitefish, et al are obviously unethical or perceptively improper – let’s empower people at the operational level to speak up when the emperor is naked

    ——————————
    Joseph Sandor
    Professor
    Michigan State University

    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-31-2017 10:34
    From: Jaime Gracia
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    I wish there was this much focus on the tens of billions that were wasted, and continue to be wasted, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tens of billions are still unaccounted for, and no one batted an eye. Several contracts were awarded similar to Whitefish, such as the Lincoln Group for paid propaganda, KBR/Halliburton, and of course the dubious contracts with Blackwater.

    Thankfully this contract did not have the opportunity to remain in the shadows, and a terrible situation has been averted.

    ——————————
    Jaime Gracia
    President & CEO
    Seville Government Consulting
    jgracia@sevillegovcon.com
    (202) 716-0122

    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-30-2017 12:11
    From: Frank McNally
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    I’m sure folks in the procurement community are aware of the emergency contracting activities of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which has been in the news after awarding a $300 million contract to a small Montana-based company called Whitefish. (For background, we covered this article in our Newswire daily email.)

    The contract is currently being reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to determine whether the appropriate procurement processes were followed by PREPA, and what involvement (if any) the federal government had in the outcome. While it may be coincidental, Whitefish is based in the same hometown as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and, according to recent press, only had two employees when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.

    On the other side of the equation, Whitefish has specialized experience in “difficult and mountainous terrain projects” and was one of 7 companies interviewed by PREPA. So perhaps the award decision makes perfect sense.

    At any rate, the questions raised by this story as they relate to public procurement are notable and worth asking. Here are a few that I have:

    1 – How do you balance the need to move quickly in a contingency situation with the need to award best value procurements?
    2 – What are the appropriate tradeoffs we need to be comfortable with in contingency contracting when it comes to transparency?
    3 – What are the tradeoffs in terms of competition in contracting & speed to contract?

    What does everyone think? What questions does this story raise for you?

    ——————————
    Frank McNally
    Director, Learning & Content Development
    ——————————

    0
  3. Good discussion.  I would only say that this highlights three key skill set and planning issues:

    • Risk management and business acumen- basic risk assessment and business acumen here would tell you that there is significant risk associated with awarding such a large contract to a company with two employees, regardless of their business model.
    • Contingency planning market research┬á – given the hurricane was coming and there was sufficient warning, this should have been a top priority with vendors and other sources lined up.┬á Also, if there were strong market research skills, they would’ve already had some level of knowledge of potential players.

    To me, this is fundamentally about skills. Yes politics and corruption could get in the way.  But I would first bet on skills and capability of the team.

    ——————————
    Raj Sharma
    Public Spend Forum
    Washington DC
    ——————————
    ——————————————-
    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-31-2017 17:17
    From: Joseph Sandor
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    ΓÇïy’all are correct, of course.┬á Just trying to suggest framing principles that can begin to replace or at least augment legal compliance / visibility.┬á Although there’s lots of grey area, contracting ethics is usually straightforward.┬á Arguably, Blackwater, Whitefish, et al are obviously unethical or perceptively improper – let’s empower people at the operational level to speak up when the emperor is naked

    ——————————
    Joseph Sandor
    Professor
    Michigan State University
    ——————————

    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-31-2017 10:34
    From: Jaime Gracia
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    I wish there was this much focus on the tens of billions that were wasted, and continue to be wasted, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tens of billions are still unaccounted for, and no one batted an eye. Several contracts were awarded similar to Whitefish, such as the Lincoln Group for paid propaganda, KBR/Halliburton, and of course the dubious contracts with Blackwater.

    Thankfully this contract did not have the opportunity to remain in the shadows, and a terrible situation has been averted.

    ——————————
    Jaime Gracia
    President & CEO
    Seville Government Consulting
    jgracia@sevillegovcon.com
    (202) 716-0122

    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-30-2017 12:11
    From: Frank McNally
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    I’m sure folks in the procurement community are aware of the emergency contracting activities of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which has been in the news after awarding a $300 million contract to a small Montana-based company called Whitefish. (For background, we covered this article in our Newswire daily email.)

    The contract is currently being reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to determine whether the appropriate procurement processes were followed by PREPA, and what involvement (if any) the federal government had in the outcome. While it may be coincidental, Whitefish is based in the same hometown as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and, according to recent press, only had two employees when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.

    On the other side of the equation, Whitefish has specialized experience in “difficult and mountainous terrain projects” and was one of 7 companies interviewed by PREPA. So perhaps the award decision makes perfect sense.

    At any rate, the questions raised by this story as they relate to public procurement are notable and worth asking. Here are a few that I have:

    1 – How do you balance the need to move quickly in a contingency situation with the need to award best value procurements?
    2 – What are the appropriate tradeoffs we need to be comfortable with in contingency contracting when it comes to transparency?
    3 – What are the tradeoffs in terms of competition in contracting & speed to contract?

    What does everyone think? What questions does this story raise for you?

    ——————————
    Frank McNally
    Director, Learning & Content Development
    ——————————

    0
  4. ΓÇïy’all are correct, of course.┬á Just trying to suggest framing principles that can begin to replace or at least augment legal compliance / visibility.┬á Although there’s lots of grey area, contracting ethics is usually straightforward.┬á Arguably, Blackwater, Whitefish, et al are obviously unethical or perceptively improper – let’s empower people at the operational level to speak up when the emperor is naked

    ——————————
    Joseph Sandor
    Professor
    Michigan State University
    ——————————
    ——————————————-
    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-31-2017 10:34
    From: Jaime Gracia
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    I wish there was this much focus on the tens of billions that were wasted, and continue to be wasted, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tens of billions are still unaccounted for, and no one batted an eye. Several contracts were awarded similar to Whitefish, such as the Lincoln Group for paid propaganda, KBR/Halliburton, and of course the dubious contracts with Blackwater.

    Thankfully this contract did not have the opportunity to remain in the shadows, and a terrible situation has been averted.

    ——————————
    Jaime Gracia
    President & CEO
    Seville Government Consulting
    jgracia@sevillegovcon.com
    (202) 716-0122
    ——————————

    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-30-2017 12:11
    From: Frank McNally
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    I’m sure folks in the procurement community are aware of the emergency contracting activities of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which has been in the news after awarding a $300 million contract to a small Montana-based company called Whitefish. (For background, we covered this article in our Newswire daily email.)

    The contract is currently being reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to determine whether the appropriate procurement processes were followed by PREPA, and what involvement (if any) the federal government had in the outcome. While it may be coincidental, Whitefish is based in the same hometown as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and, according to recent press, only had two employees when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.

    On the other side of the equation, Whitefish has specialized experience in “difficult and mountainous terrain projects” and was one of 7 companies interviewed by PREPA. So perhaps the award decision makes perfect sense.

    At any rate, the questions raised by this story as they relate to public procurement are notable and worth asking. Here are a few that I have:

    1 – How do you balance the need to move quickly in a contingency situation with the need to award best value procurements?
    2 – What are the appropriate tradeoffs we need to be comfortable with in contingency contracting when it comes to transparency?
    3 – What are the tradeoffs in terms of competition in contracting & speed to contract?

    What does everyone think? What questions does this story raise for you?

    ——————————
    Frank McNally
    Director, Learning & Content Development
    ——————————

    0
  5. I wish there was this much focus on the tens of billions that were wasted, and continue to be wasted, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tens of billions are still unaccounted for, and no one batted an eye. Several contracts were awarded similar to Whitefish, such as the Lincoln Group for paid propaganda, KBR/Halliburton, and of course the dubious contracts with Blackwater.

    Thankfully this contract did not have the opportunity to remain in the shadows, and a terrible situation has been averted.

    ——————————
    Jaime Gracia
    President & CEO
    Seville Government Consulting
    jgracia@sevillegovcon.com
    (202) 716-0122
    ——————————
    ——————————————-
    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-30-2017 12:11
    From: Frank McNally
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    I’m sure folks in the procurement community are aware of the emergency contracting activities of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which has been in the news after awarding a $300 million contract to a small Montana-based company called Whitefish. (For background, we covered this article in our Newswire daily email.)

    The contract is currently being reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to determine whether the appropriate procurement processes were followed by PREPA, and what involvement (if any) the federal government had in the outcome. While it may be coincidental, Whitefish is based in the same hometown as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and, according to recent press, only had two employees when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.

    On the other side of the equation, Whitefish has specialized experience in “difficult and mountainous terrain projects” and was one of 7 companies interviewed by PREPA. So perhaps the award decision makes perfect sense.

    At any rate, the questions raised by this story as they relate to public procurement are notable and worth asking. Here are a few that I have:

    1 – How do you balance the need to move quickly in a contingency situation with the need to award best value procurements?
    2 – What are the appropriate tradeoffs we need to be comfortable with in contingency contracting when it comes to transparency?
    3 – What are the tradeoffs in terms of competition in contracting & speed to contract?

    What does everyone think? What questions does this story raise for you?

    ——————————
    Frank McNally
    Director, Learning & Content Development
    ——————————

    0
  6. Hahahahahaha…..prof
    Rejected when in actual sense it was already awarded? The process can only be reversed through some investigation and may be termination (if they had at all started on it) or suspended or halted with sufficient grounds of course to warrant a fresh request for quotations or open re-tendering.

    ——————————
    charles Kalinzi
    Lecturer & PhD student
    Kyambogo University School of Management & Entrepreneurship
    ——————————
    ——————————————-
    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-30-2017 17:51
    From: Joseph Sandor
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    ΓÇïWe must be like Caesar’s wife, “above suspicion and beyond reproach”.┬á Regardless of Whitefish’s qualifications, they should not be awarded any business.┬áThe combination of┬áInterior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown linkage along with Whitefish’s “capitalization” ought to have immediately┬áraised red flags that disqualified Whitefish and precluded their┬ábid.┬á┬áAny private sector CEO would cringe at the potentially embarrassing questions such an award would solicit and thereby eliminate any appearance of impropriety.┬á Why doesn’t the same behavior happen with taxpayer dollars?┬á Is it possible that Zinke and his procurement leaders are that na├»ve or unaware? Whitefish’s bid ought to be rejected not “investigated”.┬á Harsh?┬á Maybe.┬áBut, in matters of ethics we must error on the side of precaution and be perceived to follow Shakespeare’s┬á”pure as the driven snow” dictum.

    ——————————
    Joseph Sandor
    Professor
    Michigan State University
    ——————————

    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-30-2017 12:11
    From: Frank McNally
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    I’m sure folks in the procurement community are aware of the emergency contracting activities of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which has been in the news after awarding a $300 million contract to a small Montana-based company called Whitefish. (For background, we covered this article in our Newswire daily email.)

    The contract is currently being reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to determine whether the appropriate procurement processes were followed by PREPA, and what involvement (if any) the federal government had in the outcome. While it may be coincidental, Whitefish is based in the same hometown as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and, according to recent press, only had two employees when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.

    On the other side of the equation, Whitefish has specialized experience in “difficult and mountainous terrain projects” and was one of 7 companies interviewed by PREPA. So perhaps the award decision makes perfect sense.

    At any rate, the questions raised by this story as they relate to public procurement are notable and worth asking. Here are a few that I have:

    1 – How do you balance the need to move quickly in a contingency situation with the need to award best value procurements?
    2 – What are the appropriate tradeoffs we need to be comfortable with in contingency contracting when it comes to transparency?
    3 – What are the tradeoffs in terms of competition in contracting & speed to contract?

    What does everyone think? What questions does this story raise for you?

    ——————————
    Frank McNally
    Director, Learning & Content Development
    ——————————

    0
  7. ΓÇïWe must be like Caesar’s wife, “above suspicion and beyond reproach”.┬á Regardless of Whitefish’s qualifications, they should not be awarded any business.┬áThe combination of┬áInterior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown linkage along with Whitefish’s “capitalization” ought to have immediately┬áraised red flags that disqualified Whitefish and precluded their┬ábid.┬á┬áAny private sector CEO would cringe at the potentially embarrassing questions such an award would solicit and thereby eliminate any appearance of impropriety.┬á Why doesn’t the same behavior happen with taxpayer dollars?┬á Is it possible that Zinke and his procurement leaders are that na├»ve or unaware? Whitefish’s bid ought to be rejected not “investigated”.┬á Harsh?┬á Maybe.┬áBut, in matters of ethics we must error on the side of precaution and be perceived to follow Shakespeare’s┬á”pure as the driven snow” dictum.

    ——————————
    Joseph Sandor
    Professor
    Michigan State University
    ——————————
    ——————————————-
    Original Message:
    Sent: 10-30-2017 12:11
    From: Frank McNally
    Subject: Disaster Contracting: Balancing Efficiency & Transparency

    I’m sure folks in the procurement community are aware of the emergency contracting activities of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which has been in the news after awarding a $300 million contract to a small Montana-based company called Whitefish. (For background, we covered this article in our Newswire daily email.)

    The contract is currently being reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to determine whether the appropriate procurement processes were followed by PREPA, and what involvement (if any) the federal government had in the outcome. While it may be coincidental, Whitefish is based in the same hometown as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and, according to recent press, only had two employees when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.

    On the other side of the equation, Whitefish has specialized experience in “difficult and mountainous terrain projects” and was one of 7 companies interviewed by PREPA. So perhaps the award decision makes perfect sense.

    At any rate, the questions raised by this story as they relate to public procurement are notable and worth asking. Here are a few that I have:

    1 – How do you balance the need to move quickly in a contingency situation with the need to award best value procurements?
    2 – What are the appropriate tradeoffs we need to be comfortable with in contingency contracting when it comes to transparency?
    3 – What are the tradeoffs in terms of competition in contracting & speed to contract?

    What does everyone think? What questions does this story raise for you?

    ——————————
    Frank McNally
    Director, Learning & Content Development
    ——————————

    0
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