Alarm bells went off early this year when it was reported that just before she left office, former Gov. Kathleen Blanco left a parting gift for the much reviled administrator of the Road Home program, ICF, in the form of a contract amendment which raised the company’s fee by $156 million (to a total of $912 million). Legislators demanded answers and Gov. Bobby Jindal called on his inspector general to investigate the contract amendment for any wrongdoing. That report has just been released and its findings largely vindicate the former governor. Inspector General Stephen Street writes that the contract amendment with ICF was “justified due to a significantly higher number of eligible applicants and closings than what was anticipated in the original contract.”
The report does note, however, that state oversight of ICF was hampered by constant feuding between the two state agencies tasked with overseeing the Road Home Program, the Louisiana Recovery Authority and the Office of Community Development’s Disaster Recovery Unit. “The conflict between the two agencies was apparently rooted in disagreements over changes in policy and procedure concerning the Road Home program,” the report states. “The constant tension and disagreement between the two agencies was a constant distraction and may have hindered the best and most efficient oversight of ICF.” Gov. Bobby Jindal has since placed LRA chief Paul Rainwater over both agencies and merged their staff into one unit. The report adds that despite the inter-agency tensions, “the investigation did not reveal any evidence to suggest an effort to conceal Amendment #7 from the public or the Louisiana Legislature.”
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.