Fix the pumps

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More odd goings on with Corps purchasing

I came across this solicitation from the Vicksburg office of the Corps:
Solicitation number : W912EE-07-R-0004
Title : R--Provide acquisition support services to the Vicksburg Consolidated Contracting Office (VCCO) with support to Vicksburg District, Mississippi Valley Division HQs, and the Hurricane Protection Office (HPO) in New Orleans, LA.

Synopsis: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Vicksburg Consolidated Contracting Office has an immediate requirement for approximately 8-contract specialists/administrators and 2-procurement clerks/technicians to report to the Hurricane Protection Office in New Orleans, LA on or about April 1, 2007. Proposals will be evaluated using a Best Value source selection process that will result in award of a fixed price Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract to the responsive and responsible offeror whose proposal, conforming to the solicitation, offers the Best Value to the Government considering technical, past performance, and price. Daily per diem will not be allowed. The contractor shall provide contracting and acquisition support services to the Vicksburg Consolidated Contracting Office (VCCO), Vicksburg District. This may include contracting support to Vicksburg District (MVK), Mississippi Valley Division (MVD) HQs, and Hurricane Protection Office (HPO). The anticipated duration of the HPO mission is 4 to 5 years.

There's a few things that are interesting about this:

1) The Corps is contracting out its purchasing operations, even though it's got tons of purchasing clerks. One has to wonder about oversight of such a contract, especially considering the huge contracts (tens and hundreds of millions of dollars) the Hurricane Protection Office will be handing out over the next four years.

2) This solicitation is being offered out of the Vicksburg office, not the New Orleans office, despite the Hurricane Protection Office's headquartering in New Orleans . This is not the first time we've seen HPO operations taken out of New Orleans District hands and placed under someone else's purview. As I reported previously, at least four Vicksburg purchasing personnel were dispatched to New Orleans from November through the end of January, with an option for a five month extension. Many of the HPO solicitations have had Vicksburg people as their points of contact, including the ones for the floodgate extra pumps (Jack Little), the permanent pump stations at the lakefront (Mario Carrette), the protection of the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal (Karen Golden), and the long delayed solicitation for Orleans Parish pump station discharge line repairs and suction basin cleanouts (Mario Carrette or Missy Arnold). By the by, according to the latest information on that last one, the solicitiation was supposed to go out January 22nd, after a two month delay. It hasn't yet.

You know they're from Vicksburg by their "mvk" email addresses.

3) Finally, can we please put the Corps' personal myth of "urgency" to rest? They're not even asking for these contract employees until April 1. What exactly have they been doing for the last few months, and what will they be doing for the next few?


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