Hey, do you remember when they told us that a vote for John McCain would just be a continuation of the Bush era policies of giving out fat no-bid contracts to cronies for the express purpose of war-profiteering? Well, they were right.
Despite President Obama’s long history of criticizing the Bush administration for “sweetheart deals” with favored contractors, the Obama administration this month awarded a $25 million federal contract for work in Afghanistan to a company owned by a Democratic campaign contributor without entertaining competitive bids, Fox News has learned.
The contract, awarded on Jan. 4 to Checchi & Company Consulting, Inc., a Washington-based firm owned by economist and Democratic donor Vincent V. Checchi, will pay the firm $24,673,427 to provide “rule of law stabilization services” in war-torn Afghanistan.
A synopsis of the contract published on the USAID Web site says Checchi & Company will “train the next generation of legal professionals” throughout the Afghan provinces and thereby “develop the capacity of Afghanistan’s justice system to be accessible, reliable, and fair.”
The legality of the arrangement as a “sole source,” or no-bid, contract was made possible by virtue of a waiver signed by the USAID administrator. “They cancelled the open bid on this when they came to power earlier this year,” a source familiar with the federal contracting process told Fox News.
“That’s kind of weird,” said another source, who has worked on “rule of law” issues in both Afghanistan and Iraq, about the no-bid contract to Checchi & Company. “There’s lots of companies and non-governmental organizations that do this sort of work.”
It’s a double-whammy: a no-bid contract… for lawyers.
Full disclosure: We aren’t expressly objectionable to no-bid contracts. During the Balkan crisis in the 90s, President Clinton re-upped Haliburton’s contract (yes, that Haliburton) without an open compete. Federal acquisition rules almost guarantee a long drawn-out process and switching horses in midstream for an outfit that was providing housing, food, transportation and other logistical support for our troops (and by all accounts was performing admirably) may not have been such a great idea.
Full disclosure II: Tough. Alinsky’s rules for radicals dictate that you hold the opposition to their own standards. Remember this guy?
H/T: Hot Air