Tuesday, November 01, 2005

FEMA contractors
screw up some more

From the MSNBC blog, The Red Tape Chronicles, we learn who's responsible for the switchboard meltdown experienced by Katrina survivors who tried to call FEMA's much-touted 800 number:
In October, FEMA's Nicole Andrews told MSNBC.com that the agency had staffed up to 12,000 telephone operators, many on loan from the IRS. Some, she said, were outside contractors.

One of those outside contractors is Augmentation Inc., a call-center firm based in Rockville, Md., just outside Washington. According to the Washington Post, Augmentation had about 1,000 people answering the phones for FEMA last month. According to documents on FEMA's Web site, the firm has a $31 million contract for "temporary staffing."

But the company isn't great at answering its own phones. An operator hung up twice on a reporter who asked for the name of a public affairs official. Eventually, messages were left for company executives, but they were not returned. And FEMA representatives didn't return phone calls seeking comment about Augmentation or the FEMA call centers.
The Red Tape blogger, Bob Sullivan, also reports on the skeevy, quick-hire program for FEMA insurance adjusters, farmed out by FEMA to insurance companies.

Click here to read Sullivan's post on FEMA contractors.


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