As we have been discussing, Craig Karnes the Director of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development‘s (HUD) Marketing and Management (M&M), has been having extreme difficulties in figuring out how NOT TO ALLOW Small Businesses participate within the Federal Contracting Arena. There is really nothing new to this; Karnes has always been adamant about his desire to ensure that BLB Resources and Matt Martin Real Estate Management prevailed. Is this because of their combined HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in Resources or their Aggressive Lobbying? I don’t know. I would say ask him; however, this Civil Servant has exempted himself from answering any questions of the American Public with the exception of providing detailed information to specific Large Companies to further assist them in crippling Small Business.
It would appear, to me, that BLB should be excluded from 3.5 because of what would appear to be Insider Information provided to them which facilitates an unfair advantage. The reality is that HUD should go back to the drawing board regarding the awards and consider the contractual factors, not the amount of sway that BLB and MMREM hold over the Industry.
HUD states price is not a factor, and that the factors only included the technical proposals and past experience. Is this true or is Craig Karnes protecting only Multi Million Dollar interests? Well, BLB was not included in the competitive range based upon pricing under Protest. Craig Karnes admitted the error and HUD didn’t change course. In the end, BLB lowered their prices, after obtaining Insider Information about bids and then won awards based on how low they went. Were there payoffs? I believe so.
The outlook for HUD M&M 3.5 – Solicitation R-ATL-02006, as many have inquired, there is no writing on any of my walls. Perhaps someone can enlighten me further. The only thing that seems certain is that HUD will continue to employ their current marketing contractors (BLB Resources, PEMCO Ltd, and Best Assets) through extensions for the foreseeable future, and reportedly at a much higher price than they would have received from the HUD M&M 3.5 – R-ATL-02006 Offerors.
As I type, HUD has 9 active, undecided, Government Accountability Office (GAO) Protests to resolve regarding HUD M&M 3.5 – R-ATL-02006, several of which were filed in the last 10 days. It would appear that this, coupled with the recent Washington, DC, culling of multiple Opinions, including Foreclosurepedia, means that pressure is mounting against Craig Karnes. The protests aren’t due for verdict until January and February, and it would appear that HUD will obtain extensions if need be, not to mention the fact that other protests are pending.
The reality is that Craig Karnes and HUD will bog this process down for months. This bogging down will ensure the enrichment of the current M&M Contract Holders. As I have quietly recommended, it may be time to reach out to Officials outside of HUD; follow the money.