Table 2: Range of Bids for the Five Most Expens
Line item Phase-in Monthly preventative maintenanceb per unit Emergency after-hours repairs per call Septic cleaning per service Deactivation per unit
Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data.
ive Line Items in the MD Contract
aSubsequent to the award, this amount was reduced. However, the contractor and FEMA are still in dispute over the actual phase-in price.
bThe range of bids for monthly preventative maintenance includes the bids for both the travel trailer and mobile home maintenance line items.
Despite these extreme price variances, FEMA did not establish procedures for the most cost-efficient distribution of work. Both the MD contract and the FAR state that a contracting officer must provide each contractor with a fair opportunity to be considered for each order issued under multiple task order contracts. The FAR further states that the contracting officer may exercise “broad discretion” in developing task order issuance procedures, as long as these procedures are fair, included in the solicitation, and factor in price or cost.16 According to the MD solicitation and contract, FEMA considered “geographic locations and transportation concerns” when assigning work, but FEMA did not include procedures for factoring in cost in either of these documents. We asked FEMA to provide us with more detail17 about their task issuance procedures, but they did not respond, except to reiterate during an interview that it was were primarily concerned with who was already performing the work (some of the MD contractors had previously subcontracted with the original four firms) and the contractors’ transportation issues and office locations.
Absent any other information from FEMA regarding the procedures it used to issue task orders to the 10 MD contractors, we concluded that FEMA
16FAR 16.505. The FAR also lists exceptions to this fair opportunity process, including, among others, that need for supplies and services is so urgent that providing a fair opportunity would result in unacceptable delays and that only one awardee is capable of providing the supplies or services required at the level of quality required.
17Specifically, we asked FEMA to provide documentation to support the decision to issue task orders to all 10, including cost analyses, assessment of contractor ability to perform, and logistical and location considerations.
GAO-08-106 Hurricane Katrina