ICE spends નો 17M on no-bid contracts to accommodate migrants in hotels that were largely unusable: DHS Watchdog
The Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog has found that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spent $ 17 million on non-bid contracts to accommodate migrants in mostly unused hotels between April and June last year, and one contractor failed ICE standards.
DHS Office of Inspector General Reviewed The number increased early last year and ICE plans for families migrating across the southern border the way the contract was awarded.
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ICE entered into a સો 86.9 million “sole source” agreement with a company called Endeavors instead of a competitive bidding process. For six months, Endeavor will provide 1,239 beds and other services to migrants after ICE recognized that its current family accommodation centers would be insufficient to accommodate the number of migrants crossing the border.
San Antonio-based nonprofit Endeavor entered into a separate no-bid agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services for over $ 500 million. The contracts were controversial because Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, a former Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer who also served as Biden Transition Advisor on Homeland Security issues, is on the company’s board.
The six hotels in the ICE contract were used to help migrants stay up to three days while they were enrolled in Alternative to Detention (ATD). But Watchdog found that ICE was not justified in using the no-bid contract, which it awarded after receiving an unsolicited proposal from Endeavor, and that most of the space was unusable because the contract required ICE to pay up to 1,239 beds, even if Either way many were used.
The ICE did not justify the need for a single source agreement to accommodate migrant families and spent about $ 17 million between April and June 2021 on hotel space and services in six largely unused hotels, the report said.
He says consumption ranges from an average of 21% in one hotel to 45% in another.
“Millions of dollars have been spent on unused hotel space as a result of ICE’s sole source agreement with Endeavors,” the report said.
The DHS inspector general is reviewing a large non-bid agreement with a company linked to a former bidding officer.
The report also criticized Endeavors, saying it did not meet the new health care protocols, specifically ensuring that appropriate COVID-19 testing was used prior to transportation to the hotel. Puts the 19’s agreement at risk.
“In addition, Endeavors did not comply with the ICE standards required to ensure proper care for housing migrant families when such families lived in its facilities,” the report adds. Those standards include self-service breakfast, staff storage of important documents such as passports, and video cameras to record incidents of use of force.
In the report, ICE recommends ensuring that appropriate contracting procedures and policies are followed, that it evaluates migrant family housing, implements testing protocols for COVID-19, and ensures compliance with efforts standards.
ICE disagreed with parts of the report, saying it was justified in using the no-bid contract, which was allowed under the exemption for “unusual and unavoidable urgency” that the agency was facing due to the border crisis. While it agrees with the housing appraisal requirement, it disagrees with the report’s other findings, arguing that its testing protocol is adequate and that ICE “ensures that Endeavors comply with the FRS at Emergency Family Staging Centers.”
In a statement to TOU Digital, Endeavors said it has been providing “essential humanitarian services to migrants since 2012 and has been working with vulnerable communities for over 50 years – including veterans, the homeless and those recovering from disasters.”
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“Endeavors also offers programs for people living with mental illness and physical disabilities,” the company said. “When the federal government asked for help in addressing the influx of migrants on our southern border, Endeavor responded to the call.
“We agree with ICE and its conclusion that Endeavors adhered to the appropriate protocol and met the standards of care for migrant families in this agreement. For Endeavors, it was appropriate and consistent to lend our expertise to provide affordable care and services to families. With our mission of compassionate service to the weak in times of crisis. ”