State cancels $250M contract awarded for flood relief program, will restart contract procurement process
Amid mounting concerns and formal protests from contractors that were not selected to manage the state’s $1.6 billion federal flood relief program, the state has decided, effectively, to throw out the existing request for proposals and restart the contract solicitation process.
It is unclear how long the action could delay implementation of the flood recovery program, which was created on paper last fall, when Congress approved federal recovery dollars for Louisiana. But a spokesman for the Louisiana Division of Administration says it shouldn’t slow things down by much.
“If it works like we expect it to there should really be no difference in the time as measured by when homeowners can begin to draw down on federal funds,” says Division of Administration spokesman Jacques Berry. “Homeowners should not see any delay.”
U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, who was instrumental in getting flood recovery dollars to Louisiana, disagrees, and issued a sharply worded statement in the wake of the state’s actions today.
“This is very disappointing news,” Graves says. “This will further delay the allocation of badly needed flood relief funds that we appropriated in September. It is impossible to explain to flood victims why $1.6 billion in recovery dollars are stuck in the bureaucracy, while homes remain gutted, moldy and uninsulated.”