More to the Story: Hurricane Matthew, Roy Cooper and IEM
As noted in our latest video, the lack of relief getting to the North Carolina victims of Hurricane Matthew is tragic. Almost two years later, not a single recovery project has been completed.
The Request for Proposal (RFP) process began in December of 2016 but was repeated and repeated until a final RFP was put out in June of 2018.
After alleged debate by a selection committee, a single company called Innovative Emergency Management (IEM) was awarded the over $15.5 million dollar contract.
Specifically, IEM was chosen to manage the Federal Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CBDG-DR) program grant.
Follow the IEM Money
According to their website, "IEM was founded by current President and CEO Ms. Madhu Beriwal in February of 1985."
The company was originally located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but moved to Research Triangle Park in 2009. Their new location was made official with a ribbon cutting ceremony in 2010.
According to the campaign donation tracking website Follow the Money, Madhu Beriwal has a history of donating to candidates where her company has won or is bidding for major contracts.
One of the candidates she’s given to over the years was Roy Cooper. While campaigning for Governor, Beriwal gave Roy Cooper the maximum donation - $5,100.
Remember that the Governor is one of only three entities involved in the Matthew relief process and the office of the Governor is supposed to coordinate with the other two.
Ms. Beriwal has also generously given $10,700 to Congressman David Price over three years, from 2014 to 2016. The significance? Price sits on the Homeland Security Appropriations committee which handles various FEMA related contracts.
In late 2013, Price announced IEM would be getting a $6.9 million dollar contract with DHS.
PRICE ANNOUNCES $6.9M IN DHS GRANT CONTRACT AWARDS TO DURHAM'S IEM September 26, 2013
Washington, D.C. – This morning, Representative David Price (D-NC), the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, hailed today’s announcement that Durham-based Innovative Emergency Management (IEM) had been awarded three Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contracts worth over $6.9 million.
Price was also a special guest at IEM’s 30th Anniversary party, and stands next to Madhu Beriwal in the image below:
Beriwal also donated $5,000 in 2015 to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’ campaign. Edwards went on to win and two years later IEM would be awarded a major contract in LA.
Beriwal has given donations to NY Governor Cuomo, NY AG Eric Schneiderman and in 2014, a $2,500 donation to the NY Comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli. IEM closed on a contract in NY earlier that year.
According to documents obtained by our staff, an RFQ (request for quote) was published by the NC Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Management Services division in late December 2016. That RFQ had an award and effective date of January 16, 2017.
Another RFP (request for proposal) was published over a year later, in January 2018, by the Dept. of Public Safety which included a schedule showing an original contract award and work effective date of February 2nd, 2018.
Yet another RFP would be put out by the Dept. of Public Safety in June 2018 and resulted in the finally awarding of the contract to IEM on June 15.
Despite being in the bidding process since late 2016, IEM apparently did not have a team in place and waited to post job openings for the project to job boards like Zip Recruiter as late as June 24th.
As we pointed out in our video, according to a report by WBTV, certain NC Emergency Management officials also tried to alter the bid process for the relief contract.
“Documents obtained by WBTV through a public records request detail the discussion surrounding the process by which each of the three bids were evaluated. Ultimately, the committee recommended one of the three companies be awarded the contract.
The documents also show that after the evaluation committee made its recommendation, officials at NCEM drafted a new recommendation memo and created a paper trail to make it look as though the memo came from members of the evaluation committee.”
It’s important to note that the Matthew Relief process is being handled by only three groups – The NC Department of Commerce, NC Emergency Management, and Governor Roy Cooper’s Office. There is no mistaking who should be held accountable.
Under the supervision of the Governor’s office, two self-imposed deadlines for the Hurricane relief process have already been missed.
Another setback under Roy Cooper’s watch came in late 2017 when HUD rejected the required environmental impact study that was submitted
The study was rejected by HUD in early January 2018 because each county must submit its own individual study. NC Emergency Management officials had submitted a single environmental impact study for four counties most impacted by Hurricane Matthew.