Back in July, I posted about the story in the Washington Post about what sounds like an event planner, Sunnye Sims of Eclipse Events, whose lucrative TSA-related subcontract in the post-9/11 screener training days was being audited for all kinds of potential improprieties, if not fraud.
So today, I got a call from the reporter who wrote the story. He's interested in following up with people who know the planner, or who have first-hand knowledge of what went on in those chaotic nine months of TSA screener recruitment and training. I got a few e-mails about it at the time, but they disappeared when I got a new computer (my new Mac G5 rocks, by the way). If you have something to say about it, please get in touch and I'll pass your info along.
And does it seem weird to anyone else that this story didn't get picked up all over the place? A juicy story about possible scandal among government contractors is usually the kind of thing the mainstream media eats for breakfast. I don't think even any of the meetings industry publications gave it much play (we just did a quick rehash and link to the Post's story), and the MIMlist was amazingly quiet about it—this at least is a little more understandable, seeing as how nobody likes to see one of their own seemingly caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
Maybe we're all just waiting until the audit is completed—once the truth of the allegations is found, there should be more of a story. As we enter the governmentzone of Katrina, I cynically believe we'll be hearing more stories about fraud, waste, abuse, etc., of government funds by contractors/subcontractors as we go along. Let's just hope that planners and hotels stay above the fray this time. (Sorry, I shouldn't assume guilt on the part of the event planner in question, but paying yourself $5.4 million for nine months of work? Can't find a way to justify that.)