Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Heroes in the Government Accountability Office (GAO)

In San Francisco we have a budget analyst by the name of Harvey Rose (I'd refer to him as "the beloved" Harvey Rose, but that probably would embarrasses him). Harvey digs up stuff for the public in the SF Budget that looks wrong and points it out. I'm always in awe of his work and I hope we get someone as brilliant as him in the future.

Scout Prime over at First Draft loves the folks at the GAO because they are doing the thankless task of keeping an eye on government spending in multiple places (Hey, it occurred to me that I should thank them! Thank-you GAO folks! We love your work. It matters.)

I believe that there is good government spending and bad government spending.

The GAO helps spot the bad government spending. Of course the Bush White House hates them. When the White House sneers and spits out the word bureaucrats about the good folks at the GAO, it's because they want the public to hate them as much as they do. But Scout and I LOVE them. Why? Because these are the kind hard working public servants who hold people in power accountable. Their work is at the heart of the watchdog function of Congress. It might not be glamorous, but it's INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT.

They spot stuff and say, "Is this the best use of our taxpayer's money? Is there something fishy here?"

They pay attention to money and the people who spend it and get it. I'm proud of the work they do for me, the taxpayer. So besides thanking them I'll tell the rest of you what they are looking for now (I'm sure they've already found it. I'd LOVE to see a copy of it when they do, maybe they will provide it.)

If you are new to this story, Louisiana Sen. Landrieu called for an investigation of the flood control pumps involving Moving Water Industries and US Army Corps of Engineers. One important document will be the actual MWI contract with all the details. It's a starting point for them, they'll dig deeper. Good luck GAO, and thanks!

Project Title: Emergency Procurement - Purchase of Temporary (Interim) Pumps for three outfall canals in New Orleans, LA

Solicitation Number: W912P8-06-R-0089

Contract Number: W912P8-06-C-0089

Type of Award: Firm Fixed Price

Name/Address of Contractor: MWI Corporation, 201 N. Federal HWY, Deerfield Beach, Florida 334441-3625

Contractor's Phone #: 954-426-1500

DUNS #: 004131512

Contract Amount*: $26,606,383.01 * total base and all options

Contract Award Amount: $26,606,383.01

Contract Award Date: 27 January 2006

Contracting Officer: Cynthia A. Nicholas

Contracting POC/Phone: Gayle Rose 504-862-1547

Dear David M. Walker:

Comptroller General of the United States

Tell your people thank you for your work on this project from Spocko, Scout and my New Orleans blogger friends.


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Human said...

Great article. The GAO is one of those bureaucracies that most people don't know about. My Mom worked there for 10 years. Did you know that the Director can only be removed by Impeachment? I think it's a ten year term. The Republicans in an effort to control GAO investigations tried to limit the funding when they were in control.


10:03 PM  

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