From the Other Washington: Rep. Jim McDermott says NOAA fight continues

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jim McDermott
Representative for the 7th District

Recently, I joined Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, Seattle City Councilmember Jean Godden, other elected officials, and industry leaders to urge US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to intervene and to seriously consider use of existing federal facilities in Seattle for NOAA's Marine Operations Center-Pacific homeport in light of the Department of Commerce's Inspector General Report.

We all gathered at a city park across the Duwamish River from Federal Center South, one of two existing federal facilities that could house the NOAA fleet, to state-- once again-- that consolidating NOAA's operations in Seattle at existing federal facilities is the best option for NOAA to achieve its mission and the best deal for federal taxpayers.

It was bad judgment and bad policy for NOAA to ignore so many critical factors when deciding to relocate its Marine Operations Center-Pacific. And now both the Government Accountability Office and the Commerce Department's own Inspector General have confirmed what many of us have known for a long time: this process was badly botched from the beginning.

The Department of Commerce's Inspector General Report concludes that NOAA violated its own rules by not considering existing federal facilities before starting the process that led to selection of Newport, Oregon as its homeport.

The GAO report noted that Newport is located in a floodplain and that NOAA’s review process ignored several other factors.


Anonymous,  August 3, 2010 at 9:16 PM  

The Dept. of Commerce Dept. IG also said that even if some of the issues with the selection process had not occurred, Newport in all likelihood still would have won.

If this was such a bad process or if other sites should have been considered, why didn't Congressman McDermott raise those issues, propose those sites before or even during the competition? Why wait until after the decision?

Oh, that's right, an Oregon port won and defacto for a Washington State politician, that means the competition was flawed.

You know, after you've entered the competition, enthusiastically participated, and lost is NOT the time to claim it was a flawed competition or that you really meant to enter other options, not the ones your originally supported. Lets stop the provincial politicking and move on to more serious business.

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