"Cheney is not even close
to being the best that money can buy."
William Schmidt, Ph.D.
3-4-2008 A Joke: Bidding for A White House Fence Contract
day George Bush looks at the political polls and realizes he may not be safe in the White
House. So, he asks the Secret Service if the
fence around the White House is high enough and if it can be
scaled. The Secret Service recommends that the
fence be electrified. Remembering his good
old days as Texas Governor and High Executioneer,
George readily agrees.
heard about this, he called up the Secret Service and told them he would be in
charge of finding the best contractor for the job.
He called three contractors: one from Tennessee,
one from Florida and one from his old company
The Florida contractor carefully measures the wall's height and
length. Then, he says:
"Well, I figure the job will run about $900,000: $400,000
for materials, $400,000 for my crew
and a $100,000 profit for me."
The Tennessee contractor does the
same measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do
this job for $700,000: $300,000 for materials, $300,000 for my
crew and $100,000 profit for me."
The Halliburton offical doesn't measure anything, but leans over to Cheney and whispers,
Cheney tells the the
Halliburton man, "You got the job."
The Secret Service official who
sees this is incredulous. "Why did you take the highest
bidder?", he asks Cheney.
Cheney explains, "$1,500,000
for Halliburton, $1,000,000 for me, $500,000 for you and
$700,000 to the guy from tennessee.
(It was all on tape until the
mysterious fire in the Vice President's office three months ago.)
The Truth May Be Much Worse
Duke Cunningham and Briber, Mitchel J. Wade
On or about August 30, 2002, just a month after receiving a peculiar one
month $140,000 contract "for providing computers, office furniture, and
computer programming services to the Office of the Vice President." from the
Office, Mitchell John Wade paid $140,000 for a yacht he then gave Republican Duke
Cunningham from San Diego, my district. Cunnighman subsequently resigned from
Congress, conessed to
and was convicted for evading taxes and conspiring to pocket $2,4 million in bribes
a Rolls Royce, a yacht, a fancy house at half price from a military contractor and much
was sentenced to 8 years and four months out of a possible ten months' sentence.
the longest sentence meted out to a member of Congress.
Defense Contractor Wade over-paid Cunningham more than $705,000
for the latter's old house
that Cunningham could buy the gated mansion shown below.
There No Defense against a Run-away Defense Budget?
||WHY THE DEFENSE BUDGET IS SO BIG
CORRUPTION and ZERO-COMPETITION
"The lack of competition ends up costing the taxpayer in the long
run," said Scott Amey, general counsel of the Project on Government Oversight, a
nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington, D.C. "When you're working without
competition, contractors can set whatever prices they want to get from the
Despite such warnings, the military continues to hand out
noncompetitive contracts often to companies with ties to congressmen or Pentagon
officials because it is easier to issue a contract without going through a
time-consuming bidding process.
"From the point of view of the person issuing the contract,
the easiest way to do things is to give the work to someone you know and you've already
done business with," said Larry Makinson, who spearheaded the CPI team investigating
the contracting practices. "But the contractors understand the game pretty well, and
they have different motives for what they're doing than the military does."
Sole-source contracts which are issued without standard
competitive bidding have long been a part of military contracting. George
Washington essentially used sole-source contracts when he handpicked civilian teamsters to
haul the Continental Army's provisions during the Revolutionary War.
U.S. law allows federal agencies to issue sole-source contracts
if only one source is available for the work or if the work has "such an unusual or
compelling urgency that the government would be seriously injured" if competitive
procedures were used.
But in recent years, sole-source contracts have become
increasingly common at the Pentagon.
Over the past eight years, only 40 percent of military contracts
were awarded under the Pentagon's definition of "full and open competition," the
CPI study found. That number dropped to 36 percent after excluding contracts that
attracted only one bidder.
Roughly 44 percent of the contracts were issued without full and
open competition, usually through sole-source contracts. Another 7 percent fell under
other categories, mostly as small business set-asides. Eight percent gave no competition
Out of the top 10 military contractors, San Diego's Science
Applications International Corp., or SAIC, was the only contractor to get the majority of
its work 74 percent through competitive contracts. The other contractors,
ranging from Lockheed Martin to the Carlyle Group, received between 60 and 98 percent of
their work through no-bid contracts.
See - http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/05/21/weekinreview/20060521_MARSH_GRAPHIC.jpg