Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Worst ever

I like to take a lot of what comes out of the New Orleans Inspector General's office with a grain of salt. After all, it's as much a political instrument as any of the public bodies it reports on.  That doesn't necessarily mean what it produces is worthless. Only that a lot of it isn't always what it might seem.  Anyway, the language Quatreveaux uses here is certainly attention grabbing.
New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux ratcheted up his criticism of the Sewerage & Water Board on Friday, calling it "the worst government entity I have encountered in 40 years as a government manager."

Quatrevaux previously had issued numerous reports critical of the board's business practices and has called for it to be folded into city government rather than remaining a quasi-independent agency.
I mentioned  Quatrevaux's S&WB concerns last week here. There are many. You can read his summarizing letter to the mayor here.

Meanwhile, David Hammer has started looking into some long-running issues with the state of those infamous power turbines.
On Aug. 16, WWL-TV asked Landrieu, who is also  the president of the Sewerage & Water Board, why the Turbine No. 4 repairs have taken so long.

“That particular (turbine) had to be completely refurbished, not just fixed. And it was in the process of getting fixed,” he said. “It was supposed to be finished in December. So, one of the things we did was ask them to work really hard and move it up to six weeks. It’s not like you can just snap your fingers and move it up three years.”

But the project was never supposed to take more than a year in the first place.
So what I've been given to understand about how this stuff works is when the contractor makes a decision to "refurbish" rather than "replace" a specific part, that changes and extends the contract. This turbine is a very old piece of equipment with lots of specialized and/or obsolete components so there are plenty of opportunities to make that sort of decision. Sooner or later we're talking about a lot more money and time than was probably necessary in the first place. So long as it gets spread around to right people and nobody gets hurt, it's all "honest graft."  Unfortunately, as it turns out, it's kind of important that this particular piece of equipment gets fixed on time and correctly so......

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