November 13, 2011

No-Bid-Contract Obama still has the press on his side

This story speaks for itself, via the L.A. Times, a no-bid contract for an unproven, not needed drug from a top Democrat donor.  The only problem with it, is that it might not get a lot of play in the media.  Or, at least not the play it deserves.

The only thing missing from this to make it more unlikable is a puppy mill.
Me, me , me.
Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work.

Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world's richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor.

When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company's financial demands, senior officials replaced the government's lead negotiator for the deal, interviews and documents show.

When Siga was in danger of losing its grip on the contract a year ago, the officials blocked other firms from competing.
I wonder if anyone who was protesting Haliburton will be up in arms over this. Nah, probably not.  Incidentally, this isn't the first no bid contract awarded by the Obama administration.  Remember this one?

Here's what Obama had to say about no bid contracts (via Politifact);

"Will ensure that federal contracts over $25,000 are competitively bid."

Never fear, Politifact has Obama's back.  In it's assessment of the details of his claim in practice, it goes on to say this;
Scott Amey, an expert in government contracting and counsel for the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight, said Obama deserves credit for addressing the issue, but it's unrealistic to think he could fulfilll his promise.

"There are certain times and certain circumstances where there's public interest or national security that you have to limit competition, or (a contract) might not be full and open," said Amey, who frequently testifies before Congress on the matter.

Ron Utt, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, offers this scenario: The Army realizes it needs 20,000 more heavy sleeping bags for troops in Iraq as winter arrives. "You can put them out for bid, and by the time spring comes around, you may be able to award a contract," he said. "But that doesn't help the soldier who spent the winter freezing."

Instead, the government would probably turn to a supplier with which it already has a master service contract -- an agreement to provide needed goods or services at cost plus an agreed-upon markup.

Utt said Obama's campaign pledge probably reflected his naivete about contracting when he was a candidate. For instance, it would probably not be cost-effective to bid out many smaller contracts, even some over $25,000. "Any savings would be quickly erased by the paperwork" of bidding them out, he said.
I ask you, "Compliant press?  What compliant press?"  I'm sure Politifact will update their fact checking with this story, since $433 million is somewhat larger than $25 thousand.  Surely this qualifies as a no-bid contract that in reality had the opportunity to be put up for bidding.  After all, there's no freezing soldiers or a smallpox epidemic underway.


If only America didn't have to wait for 2012 for a do-over of 2008.  Even some Democrats back then knew what the score was;

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