How to win government contracts in the Obama era
posted at 9:51 am on April 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
It goes something like this: Say, that’s a nice government-contracting business you have there. Shame if anything happened to your income stream, huh? Now, what would it be worth to you to make sure your bid doesn’t get dropped on the floor — and have you seen our new policy proposals on the environment and obesity?
Want to win a contract to operate concessions on federal property? Be ready to explain how your business promotes Obama administration desires like “climate friendly strategies” and the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” anti-childhood obesity effort.
Proposal documents obtained by The Daily Caller reveal that the National Park Service favors those who promote these Obama White House priorities when deciding which concessioners they will allow to operate businesses on federally owned property.
The documents outline what criteria the National Park Service considered when awarding a concessions contract for operating the Silver Gull Beach Club and Breezy Point Beach Club on federally owned land in New York this summer.
These guidelines tell bidders that the National Park Service is “interested in supporting the goals of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Initiative.”
Oh, come on, now. I’m sure this is just a coincidence. After all, it’s not like the Obama administration has the federal bureaucracy spending its work time looking to provide the POTUS with press events, or anything like that.
The White House says it’s all on the up-and-up:
In an email to The Daily Caller, National Park Service spokesman Jeffrey Olson dismissed the notion that the Obama White House’s pet agendas are being pushed on businesses that seek concessions contracts.
“The concepts of ‘climate friendly strategies’ and ‘Let’s Move’ are consistent with legal founding and policies of concessions contracts for the NPS outside of any specific White House focus,” Olson told TheDC.
“Because the beach clubs are geared toward recreation with some food services, using the Let’s Move initiative as a baseline to generate proposals on how the potential concession providers would incorporate healthy food options and exercise-based recreation seems especially appropriate,” he added.
Well, silly us — we just assumed that the federal government would award contracts on the basis of cost efficiency and value, not “climate-friendly strategies” or whether a concessionaire adopted the First Lady’s nutritional agenda. Obviously, cost efficiency is not the highest priority involved in federal contracting in this administration. And while setting contract terms certainly is within the prerogative of the administration, it doesn’t mean that it provides immunity from criticism and exposure, either.