Yesterday Bloomberg and the Washington Post released a story on the lack of no-bid contracts under the Obama Administration:
In his March 2009 memo to agencies, Obama said a reliance on non-competitive orders “creates a risk that taxpayer funds will be spent on contracts that are wasteful, inefficient, subject to misuse, or otherwise not well designed to serve the needs of the Federal Government or the interests of the American taxpayer.’’
The memo said that non-competitive “contracts carry risk of overspending because they have been negotiated without the benefit of a direct market mechanism.’’ The document directed agencies to consider mitigating that risk by limiting the length of awards, ensuring fair prices and regularly assessing contractor performance.
Obama can “send out nice memos, telling agencies not to sole-source, but the law hasn’t changed,’’ said Joe Hornyak, a Tysons Corner-based partner at law firm Holland & Knight.
Why does this matter here in the long-forgotten Commonwealth of Kentucky? Well…
Kentucky Retirement Systems spends more than $40 million per year in no-bid contracts. Public pension fees have doubled and tripled as KRS has ramped up investment in private equity and risky hedge funds – usually with no regard to fees, completely bypassing the traditional bidding process and requests for proposals.
Doesn’t help matters that the KRS is under an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for something like $14 million in secret payments to placement agents working to secure KRS investment business. Chris Tobe, a KRS whistleblower for the SEC, believes (note: everyone knows this to be true) he was not reappointed to the KRS board in retaliation for, you know, telling the truth in an attempt to save billions in taxpayer dollars.
This is why Kentucky can’t have nice things.