Monday, January 29, 2007

What is Tom Davis Up To? Part III -- ICF in the Gulf

Today (Monday) the Washington Post did a story about the incompetence of a Fairfax firm, ICF, in its Hurricane Katrina response. ICF was awarded a contract worth about $8 million, to disburse $7 Billion to homeowners in New Orleans.

Since then, residents and state and federal officials have accused ICF of moving too slowly, paying its lawyers too much and valuing homes too low. The company's performance has been criticized by Donald Powell, federal coordinator of Gulf Coast rebuilding, and the Louisiana House and Senate have called for the contract to be canceled and for an audit of the company's $19 million in travel expenses...

Fairfax-based ICF is a mid-size contractor that provides consulting and technology services for government agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Defense Department, as well as some large companies.

ICF says the job is hard. Government officials and homeowers say that's why the company got $7 BILLION. If ICF can't do the job, will the company release the government from the contract and let someone else give it a try? Certainly not. Tom Davis had not asked ICF to explain itself, despite the widespread agreement that oversight was desperately needed. Henry Waxman, the new chair, now has ICF in his sites.

Waxman's oversight may be a wake up call for ICF. Before Waxman took control, when ICF had to testify at the Government Reform Committee in 2005, how did it respond? ICF donated to Committee Chair Tom Davis.
What was going on on June 8? The ICF Committee hearing was being scheduled.

In addition to the campaign contributions, Tom Davis's wife is available to consult with ICF to prepare them for the hearing. No one will say whether she was the consultant for that job.

After paying the donations to Davis, ICF then got on the schedule after the summer recess, and got the "soft" hearing it needed to escape accountability.

ICF also had donated $2,500 to Davis's Victory Fund PAC before, putting his PAC in their top 10 recipients. Davis's wife also has been a recipient of ICF donations.


Walker said...

Hey B.P.

Thanks for dropping by Choosing Hope, where I was celebrating Waxman's ascendency to chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In fact I was fairly ignorant about Tom Davis except to know that he had been chair of this Committee, and hence had to have acquiesced to his party's refusal to look at the legitimate dirt that Waxman has so relentlessly uncovered. It makes the change especially sweet to learn that the deposed chair was not only an enabler but also up to his eyeballs in debt to the very crooks whose theft from the U.S. Treasury Waxman has been exposing. Good job over here keeping tabs on him. Too bad he wasn't deposed entirely by the voters, and still sits as the ranking minority member. Let's hope he is substantially defanged and further exposed. What's the makeup of his district?

Beltway Progressive said...

Thanks for coming by! The District is going bluer. In fact, Davis only kept his job because his usual $3.5 million in donations, which he usually spreads around to corrupt incumbents in exchange for other favors, stayed home this cycle. He spent it against a really exciting challenger in Andy Hurst. With no money from PACS or the National Dems he raised $300,000 and drove Davis crazy in debates. Davis knows he is in real trouble next cycle in VA's 11th and is hoping John Warner will retire because he'll have better luck in a statewide Senate race. But by 2008, Abramoff's cooperation will have produced his list of co-conspirators. Davis is expected to be on it.

Peter M. said...

The current state of the Congressional ethics rules reminds me of a true story involving some country's soccer officials. (This happened within the last two years as I recall.) The country's governing soccer body said it was okay for people to give money to soccer officials as long as it didn't influence their officiating.

Beltway Progressive said...

More coming out on Oversight failures in Iraq by here and here.

Anonymous said...

Representative Tom Davis, the Virginia Republican who is the committee’s chairman, began his own remarks by charging that critics of the reconstruction “oversimplify, distort and prejudge the outcome of a complex contracting process to fit the preordained conclusion that everything goes wrong in Iraq.”


James Glanz at NYTimes