The Big Mistake

Quick question: what US state makes procurement corruption in the UN look tame relative to its own sourcing escapades? If you guessed the nanny state -- or Commonwealth, if you must -- you'd be right. Yes, my former home, Massachusetts, which has the chutzpah to have its own capital gains tax -- one of the reasons I had to leave on moral principles -- is the correct answer. To gain a base understanding of how bad the procurement corruption is, consider this story from the Boston Globe earlier in May. According to the article, "Contractors on the Big Dig are chipping in at least $190,000 toward a gala dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston next week to honor Matthew J. Amorello and Michael P. Lewis, the two top state officials responsible for supervising the firms' work on the trouble-plagued project."

These contractors happen to be the same ones responsible for the recent deaths from faulty construction on the now infamous $14.6 billion dollar project. Not only is it clear to this former resident that State officials took kick-backs for contracts -- either in the form of free gala dinners or much worse -- but they have attempted to cover up their tracks as well. Consider the above-linked Forbes article which states "under Amorello's tenure, two consultants he had hired to investigate hundreds of leaks in the tunnels were let go amid their accusations that the turnpike authority had cut off access to documents the consultants said were vital to their work. A former judge, Edward Ginsberg, who was overseeing efforts to determine if funds could be recovered on the project and who first reveled the extent of the leaks to the Globe also did not have his contract renewed." Not only have the Big Dig and Turnpike officials earned a spot in the Spend Matters hall of shame. They've now earned the right -- I hope -- to spend much of the rest of their lives in prison if they're tried and convicted for the death of a passing motorist who was crushed under a section of a tunnel that failed due to faulty construction. And perhaps when they get out of the slammer, they can ring up the UN for a procurement job.

Jason Busch

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