The House Judiciary Committee is investigating FEMA for wasting $156 million dollars on an unreliable contractor.
After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, FEMA awarded Tribute Contract LLC a contract for 30 million meals to the island in relief aid, yet only 50,000 were delivered and those were all defunct.
Tiffany Brown, an Atlanta-
based self-proclaimed “entrepreneur” with no experience in large-scale disaster relief was somehow awarded this contract despite having five previous government contracts that were all canceled due to unreliability.
Yet she was still paid $156 million by FEMA for the job.
The first four government contracts that were terminated were all awarded by the Federal Prison System. Brown’s company, Tribute, failed to deliver meat, bakery items, cereal, and other food stuff to their designated correctional institutions.
After that, Brown had a contract with the Government Publishing Office for 3,000 tote bags that was canceled because Tribute failed to print the logo on both sides of the bag, a detail specified in the contract. The Publishing Office mentioned that Brown was notoriously unreliable, and was never on time at any stage in their process.
It is important to note that Tribute Contract LLC does not fulfill any contracts as an organization, and instead hires subcontractors to complete orders.
In November, when 18.5 million meals were due and according to the contract were scheduled to be delivered, only 50,000 were delivered, and all of them were faulty. The contract specifically required self-heating meals and Tribute had packaged the components separately.
This raises the question: how and why was Tiffany Brown hired even though she has a record of gross incompetence?
In November, FEMA also awarded $30 million in contracts to Bronze Star LLC for tarps and plastic sheeting that was never delivered.
In total, the Department of Homeland Security allocated $1 billion in contracts related to Hurricane Maria. But this revelation is calling many more contracts, both in FEMA and other departments into question. Meanwhile, the people of Puerto Rico still don’t have the aid they so desperately need, and a defunct Congress is taking its time exploring this latest failure.