Katrina Cleanup Contracts

I believe government spends money stupidly, but consider this:

More than 80 percent of the $1.5 billion in contracts signed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to clean up after Hurricane Katrina were awarded without bidding or with limited competition, the New York Times reported Monday.

When you're dealing with a disaster and need stuff done yesterday, what should have happened is that FEMA should have had contracts already in place with suppliers all over the country who could jump in, at prearranged rates, to do the work required. But since FEMA obviously didn't do that, in this case, bypassing much of the bureaucracy designed for more typical purchasing (like buying a new desk chair for your office) just makes sense.