World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Congress Reps Seek Shirlington Limo. Investigation

Congress Reps Seek Shirlington Limo. Investigation


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 8, 2006 - Today, Congressmen Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science and Technology, sent a letter to Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner. The letter, which appears below, requests an investigation into the Department of Homeland Security's dealings with Shirlington Limousine and Transportation, Inc.:

# # #

May 8, 2006

The Honorable Richard Skinner
Inspector General
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C.

Dear Inspector General Skinner:

On April 29, 2006, the Washington Post reported that Shirlington Limousine and Transportation, Inc., a Washington area limousine service that had been linked to the on-going corruption scandal of former Rep. Randy Cunningham, had been awarded a $21 million contract for limousine services by the Department of Homeland Security.

While recent reports indicate that the current controversy involving Shirlington Limousine revolves around the company's alleged complicity in securing prostitution services for public officials, we are not interested in such accusations.

However, we are concerned about revelations that this company, despite its unsatisfactory past performance and its apparent lack of resources was able to obtain a $21 million contract with the Department. Therefore, we are writing to request that you investigate this company and its contracts with the Department and obtain the answers to the following questions:

1) Shirlington Limousine initially won a contract with the Department for $3.8 million in April 2004. This contract was awarded under the "historically underutilized business zone" (HUBZone) program. According to the Small Business Administration, to qualify under the HUBZone program, a business must meet all of the HUBZone criteria. It must be small, located in a HUBZone, be owned and controlled by one or more U.S. citizens, and at least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone. We are concerned that Shirlington Limousine may not meet each of these criteria. An internet search did not reveal a physical address for Shirlington Limousine. We did, however, find a Post Office box number and a phone number. Unfortunately, a call to the listed phone number connected with a messaging service located in California. Unfortunately, that service was unable to provide information on the business' physical address. Therefore, please verify that this business meets each of the criteria for a HUBZone enterprise, and specifically whether its physical address at the time of the April 2004 award was within a HUBZone designated area.

2) Additionally, as to the April 2004 contract, it has been widely reported that Shirlington Limousine was the sole bidder. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether this contract was designed as a sole source award or whether this was a full and open competition of the type required under Federal procurement regulations. As you know, under Federal procurement regulations, a sole source award for a contract of this size is generally reserved for instances in which the source selected is the only source capable of providing the goods or services. A sole source contract for routine transportation and limousine services in an area replete with taxicab and limousine services companies, such as the Washington, DC metropolitan area, appears to be a misuse of the sole source designation. Therefore, please determine the rationale for awarding the April 2004 contract as a sole source award.

3) Public records indicate that between 2002 and 2005, the Shirlington Limousine Company had many financial difficulties and performance problems, including court actions for unpaid debts and a contract termination for poor performance. As you know, under Federal procurement regulations a vendor must be deemed a "responsible bidder" by the contracting authority. Given its history of financial and performance problems, please determine the steps taken and the conclusions reached by the Department's acquisitions office to determine that this company was a "responsible bidder."

4) Reports indicate that in October 2005, the Department awarded a $21 million contract to Shirlington Limousine for transportation services. Please provide information on:

a. Whether the Department currently has a motor pool which provides transportation services for its high ranking officials;

b. Whether the Department has leased vehicles for use in official government business, and if so, how many such vehicles are leased;

c. Which officials were given access to utilize the services under the Shirlington Limousine contract;

d. What protocol was established to differentiate the need to use the Limousine service rather than the motor pool or other leased vehicles;

e. Whether a log or other record was kept to determine which Department employees or officials used the Limousine service, and

f. If a log or other record was kept, provide the dates, times of use, and the names of the officials.

It is our understanding that the committee intends to hold a hearing on May 18th which will touch upon this contract. Therefore, we would appreciate a response to these questions prior to the May 18th hearing. As always, thank you for your efforts in ensuring that taxpayer money is efficiently and effectively spent. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, Democratic Staff Director, at (202) 226-2616.

Sincerely,

Bennie G. Thompson Bill Pascrell
Ranking Member Ranking Member
Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on
Emergency Preparedness, Science and Technology


# # #

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news