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Wed May 20, 2020, 04:04 PM

3M billed government $7.63 for 85-cent earplugs. It now has $1 billion COVID contract

Inept and probably criminal any way you look at it.



3M billed government $7.63 for 85-cent earplugs. It now has $1 billion COVID contract
By Tara Copp
May 20, 2020 03:31 PM
A former FBI agent responsible for investigating contracts after Hurricane Katrina warns that the more than 20,400 contracts awarded by the U.S. to date for COVID-19 supplies is at risk for waste and fraud. By Kevin Keister | Tara Copp


The company that has been awarded the largest single COVID-19 federal contract once boasted it charged the Defense Department $7.63 for earplugs that cost 85 cents a pair to produce.

That company, 3M, was awarded a $1 billion contract on April 15 for “medical and surgical instruments, equipment and supplies,” by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The IDIQ contract — “indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity” — was awarded without taking competing bids from other vendors.


It is also the largest federal contract 3M has been awarded among at least 47 others it has signed with various federal agencies to produce protective gear for the COVID-19 outbreak such as medical gloves, gowns and particularly respirator masks. The masks are critically needed for doctors, nurses, first responders and essential workers.

snip//

The 3M contract is just one of more than 20,400 contracts for pandemic-related supplies or services that the U.S. government has signed since March 13, when the White House declared a national emergency due to the coronavirus.

More than 6,000 of those contracts, worth a total of $8.5 billion, like the 3M contract, were awarded without seeking competing bids, according to the Federal Procurement Data System, a government database that tracks all federal spending.

more...

https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/coronavirus/article242868916.html

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Reply 3M billed government $7.63 for 85-cent earplugs. It now has $1 billion COVID contract (Original post)
babylonsister Wednesday OP
lagomorph777 Wednesday #1
babylonsister Wednesday #3
hardluck Wednesday #5
Faux pas Wednesday #2
matt819 Wednesday #4
babylonsister Wednesday #6
Hoyt Wednesday #7

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed May 20, 2020, 04:07 PM

1. $6.00 of that $7.63 went into Trump's pocket.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #1)

Wed May 20, 2020, 04:17 PM

3. Would not surprise me at all if some of it did.

Who knew 3M was so crooked?

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed May 20, 2020, 04:11 PM

2. Kickin' with disgust!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed May 20, 2020, 04:28 PM

4. This may be corruption and greed - but it may not be

I know it seems obscene, but you really do have to investigate further the conditions of the contract.

Okay, they cost 85 cents to make. Does that include packaging? Are there requirements for sterile manufacturing/storage/shipping? It was a no-bid contract. Are there other manufacturers able to meet the requirements of the contract - quality, quantity, delivery, etc.

Are there other conditions? Who picks up the tab for shipping?

I get it, on its face it seems a bit greedy, but you really have to dig deeper. The larger problem is that there is almost certainly no oversight. Also, 20,400 contracts in just 60 days? That doesn't seem normal. Yes, by all mean investigate these kinds of numbers, but let's not get caught up in the weeds and miss the kind of corruption that might be hidden in those 20,000 contracts and $8.5 billion. And who's going to investigate. Certainly not this administration.

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Response to matt819 (Reply #4)

Wed May 20, 2020, 04:32 PM

6. Once upon a time I was a buyer for the government.

Last edited Wed May 20, 2020, 05:15 PM - Edit history (1)

One big problem imo besides the fraud and abuse is that they didn't bother to get competitive bidding, which might have taken all of 3 phone calls.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed May 20, 2020, 05:35 PM

7. Would love to see how the "cost to make" was calculated. Did it include

design costs, working with military on specifications, testing, etc. Did it include lawsuits against 3M by military personnel who still had hearing loss after hours of training with big-assed guns, explosives, etc. Did it include the money 3M had to pay back because the plugs became loose in Iraqi heat?

I bet the “cost” was a lot more. Not sure that’s a very good example, although imo sure procurement under trump is shoddy like everything else in this admin.

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