04 Aug 2020 Moving Our Military Safely and Cheaply
Members of the U.S Armed Forces have a lot to worry about, and the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) tries to ease the hassle and worry of frequent moves by arranging for the safe relocation of the possessions of servicemembers and their families.
Now taxpayers can feel more comfortable about how their money is being spent, since TRANSCOM has pulled out of a strange arrangement and could – at the very least – save billions.
In a Newsmax commentary, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper chronicles how TRANSCOM is reassessing a proposed contract with American Roll-on Roll-Off Carrier (ARC) that was estimated to cost the military over $7 billion. The company to be awarded this contract is supposed to be central to military efforts to streamline what Horace describes as a “labyrinthine process” for servicemember moves. The goal is a centralized “Global Housing Good Contract” replacing dozens of offices and countless moving companies.
Shockingly, ARC won that contract despite costing $2 billion more than competitors’ bids. Even more shocking, ARC might have violated transparency rules and the contracting process by not reporting past criminal violations of its parent company. Other bidders complained, and an investigation of the contract was opened.
But, as Horace writes:
Rather than being an open and shut case of a contract application violation, this award is playing out more like a magician’s bait and switch trick…
When TRANSCOM announced that it would take “corrective action” many assumed that the contract would likely be permanently rescinded. But instead after less than 2 weeks DOD abruptly changed course – and like a rabbit jumping out of a top hat – it announced that there wouldn’t be taking any corrective action after all, and simply re-awarded the contract to ARC.
There’s a murky tale of newly-formed companies and subsidiaries that would allegedly make ARC scandal-free and eligible for the contract. While this controversy is enough to cause concern, Horace points out that “[e]ven if this were true, one wonders how a company can expect to effectively service a $7 billion contract when it can’t submit its own ownership record properly in its application.”
Horace explains that TRANSCOM’s pulling back the contract with ARC helps clear the air on how the military will be able to address a very important obligation to servicemembers:
Our men and women in the military absolutely need an efficient and cost-effective way to organize relocations all over the globe. Even with your eyes closed and the sound of hand clap to distract you, most taxpayers know that a contract billions of dollars over and above alternate bids from a company with a questionable criminal history isn’t the way to accomplish that.
To read all of Horace’s commentary – “Lack of Transparency in Govt Contracts Hurts Service Members” – click here.