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Homeland Security Dems: FEMA Disaster Contracting Needs Reform

Feb 8, 2018
Press Release

Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, together with all Committee Democrats, including Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ), Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), James R. Langevin (RI), Cedric L. Richmond (LA), William R. Keating (MA), Filemon Vela (TX), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ), Kathleen M. Rice (NY), J. Luis Correa (CA), Val Butler Demings (FL), and Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA), introduced legislation (H.R.4995) to require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to conduct past performance reviews of a vendor before awarding a disaster contract valued at $1 million or more.

Additionally, yesterday, Rep. Thompson sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen demanding answers regarding revelations that FEMA contracted with a vendor without undertaking a past performance review that, in the case of Tribute Contracting, LLC would have revealed prior performance issues, including the fact that other Federal agencies cancelled at least five prior government contracts with this firm for performance issues. A disturbing pattern has emerged of FEMA awarding contracts to companies that were unable to meet their obligations, resulting in delayed response to survivors and increased costs to taxpayers.

“FEMA must conduct basic due diligence of vendors who seek disaster contracts, especially for essential provisions like food and tarps.  A simple past performance review is critical to ensuring that FEMA works with the right contractors who can actually ensure that aid that is needed on the ground gets delivered.”

Link to Legislation (H.R. 4995)

Link to Letter to DHS Sec. Nielsen

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978