Time and again I am asked, “What can I do?” The maxim, “Ignorance of the Law,” is really a slap in the face to Contractors today. Why? By in large, Contractors are simple, hard working folks making up the ranks of the working poor. While obscene profit margins are hammered out by outfits located in Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Florida and Colorado, the working poor are now not even being paid by these vermin. With this said, progress is slow as the National Property Preservation Guild (NPPG) is both unfunded and has no staff.
Even with the dire straits that NPPG faces we occasionally knock one out of the Park. Friday I received a call from a source within the Veterans Affairs Office of Acquisitions, Logistics and Contracting (VAOALC). VAOALC was punted a case from the Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General (VAOIG) with respect to Case Number 2013-7442:
This is in response to the e-mail you sent to the VA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline. The Office of Inspector General limits investigative efforts to those issues that represent the most serious potential risk to VA or for which OIG may be the only avenue of redress. After reviewing the situation described in your correspondence, we have determined that there are avenues available to you that can better address your concerns.
You may wish to contact the Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction (OALC). The OALC provides acquisition, logistics, construction, and leasing support to the Department’s administrations; and has oversight responsibility on behalf of the Secretary to ensure VA complies with laws, policies, and directions. You may contact a representative of the OALC at 202-632-4606.
Now, John didn’t even originally want to assign a Tracking Number to the issue of nearly A DOZEN Contractors being defrauded by PPMS South and Scott A. Raines for Contracts originating from a multitude of Regional and Prime Vendors. Here is where ALL OF YOU need to take note: You must DEMAND a Tracking Number or File Number when you communicate with the US Government. Always get names, positions; any identifiable data for litigation! After a week or so, John decided to kick the matter over to VAOALC; I may be wrong, but my opinion is that in the same way the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) tried to bury monies owed, VAOIG thought that the matter would peter out. Here’s the rub: No one wants to know ANYTHING! I mean, in the case of HUD, they REF– USED to assign even a Tracking Number! I was told that there would be an investigation and then, after a few days I was told that nothing would ever happen. Even though the very same criminals (PPMS South) had spun up a new Corporation HUD wanted to do NOTHING!
Well, the plan back fired this time. Someone is going to loose their “free parking” or de gratis vacation! As a matter of fact this case has built momentum! John, I hope you read this as you did me a great service! You see, when I related the fact that not only had the Order Mills and Prime Vendors alike turned their backs upon the working poor but the US Government did as well it was not well received. Coupled with the fact that, in my opinion as well as my source’s, the Prime Vendors and Order Mills targeted a pool with over 90% African American men and women to defraud, let’s just say that you could have heard a needle drop! Make no mistake whatsoever that the Machinery of Justice is now beginning to engage. For those of you whom have conspired to defraud Contractors your names are being entered into databases which boggle the mind! For those of you whom turned a blind eye while crimes were committed to further financial agendas, the Nuremburg Defense will HOLD NO WEIGHT!
So, all along HUD has fought against releasing any information whatsoever pertaining to whom holds the Surety Bonds as, we presume the VA will do. Accordingly, we are filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests to not only reveal whom controls the Bonds, but the Contracts themselves under the M&M III Contract. This is the first salvo to be launched by mid week. Next, we are going to file FOIA on the M&M 3.6; we are going to investigate the payment patterns to Contractors by PK Management in light of the Prompt Payment Act; Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.219-8 (a) and (b); and Office of Management and Budget Memorandum 12-16. If you remember, these are the issues which I claimed to Craig Karnes, HUD Procurement Officer! He said, “No, they do not violate PPA.” When I spoke with Pedro Kolychine, Albert Martinez and Les Sternberg they all stated the same. Hmnn, maybe I should send copies of the FAR’s pro bono?! We are also going to look into whether or not it is healthy, wise and legal to assign such an enormous chunk of the HUD REO Contract to only one Contractor! What will be the outcome? Well, I do not know. See, that’s the issue though; no one has ever wanted to challenge anyone or anything in this Industry! I was told to “Check my gas lines” when I began this Inquiry!
Our Mission has just begun! As funds allow we plan to begin an exhaustive examination of what we feel to be anti trust violations on both the pre and post conveyance side of the Inspection and Property Preservation Industry. The monopolization of trade is a felony! Price fixing is a felony! The altering of financial bids are felonies! The firing of Contractors for reporting contract issues is illegal! You had the chance to Step to the Plate and self regulate and took a pass. You laughed at the notion of establishing a Grievance Committee. This is a Notice to those whom would prey upon the working poor to line their Golden Parachutes; we are not going to quit until the illegal practices come to an end. The Industry is going to be pulled, kicking and screaming, into the world wherein crimes are punished and regulations reward the honest!
Editor’s Note: This is going to shape up to be a long and costly endeavor. We know there are those within the Corporate Structure whom silently applaud what we do. We also know that we have already helped many Contractors get what they could not. Now is the time to Step Up and help the NPPG! Whether it be time or money, both are needed! We will keep you anonymous! We will never reveal any donation of money, time or information even under penalty of Contempt of Court! We are the Last Line of Defense between Corporate Greed and your bunk assignment at the local homeless shelter!