In response to the nine House and Senate panels holding hearings on Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, FEMA has recently reopened the $100 million contracts for the engineering of temporary, fast-track emergency housing awarded to the Shaw Group, Bechtel Corp., CH2M Hill Inc., and Fluor Corp., according to a recent report in the Washington Post. Displaced Hurricane Katrina survivors will be offered a mobile home in trailer communities consisting of 5,000 to 25,000 people for three to five years as their homes are rebuilt. Coordinating the temporary housing effort is FEMA's new Housing Area Command department. Just less than half of the $51.8 billion in federal hurricane relief aid is budgeted for temporary housing.
A spokesperson for Fluor Corp. says the company supports FEMA Chief David Paulison's decision to re-compete the Hurricane Katrina contracts. Fluor will participate in the open bidding. “Our long-standing relationship with FEMA has been based on competitively bid and won contracts,” reads Fluor's official statement.
FEMA has no plans to open for bidding other contracts for hurricane recovery work signed with little or no competition. In addition, the agency has already committed large sums of money to the four firms working on the housing site projects — $49.2 million for Bechtel alone. There is no timeline for how quickly the contracts will be rebid.