Federal Emergency Management Agency Questions Puerto Rico Power


The federal government agency that is in charge of disaster management has said that it was worried about how a small power company from Montana could be awarded a big contract worth $300 million for the Puerto Rico electrical grid. The company has won the contract to reconstruct the electrical grid of the area after it was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. This agency is known as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and is usually charged with paying for the recovery process of areas hit by national disasters in America. The body through a statement warned that it would withdraw from the project should it be determined that the proper channels were not followed in awarding the contract. The contract in contention involves the Puerto Rico Power Authority and Whitefish Energy. The federal agency issued a statement on Friday saying that based on the initial review of the information that it had received from PREPA, it had significant concerns. For instance, the body couldn’t ascertain whether the contract was conducted using the right channels and couldn’t also determine whether the prices stipulated in the contract where reasonable. At the same time, there are some documents that are circulating online suggesting that the deal was approved by FEMA. While the authenticity of the documents cannot be ascertained, FEMA has said that it didn’t approve any of these documents.

For instance, some of the information from the documents suggest that the hourly charge for Whitefish is $188.07 on the lower side and $440 an hour on the upper side. At the same time, there is a suggestion that FEMA would be paying $3,969 per hour in charges that go towards paying for helicopter services. As for the helicopters that will be used to lift heavy objects, the hourly charge rate will be between $15,994 and $20,278. According to the same report, there is a provision that says that government agencies do not have the right of auditing the process. However, none of the bodies involved could be reached for a comment. This is a deal that has caught the attention of the Department of Homeland Security as well as members of the Congress. For instance, a letter was sent to the Puerto Rican power authorities by the House Committee on Natural Resources demanding for an explanation. At the same time, the letter requested for all the documents involved in the process. Homeland Security said that it was looking into the issue the same day.


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