A company called Tribute Contracting LLC, which is owned by fashionista Dr. Tiffany Brown received a $156 million contract from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deliver 30 million meals to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, but she only delivered 50,000.
According to her website, Brown’s company, a minority-owned government consulting firm, has had three FEMA Contracts worth millions of dollars.
In addition to her LLC and being an author, she also owns the following:
- Tiffany Brown Designs- women’s clothing line
- Tiffany Brown Holdings Inc.- Consulting firm that has five divisions: entertainment, vending, radio, food, nonprofit management and book publishing
- Luxe Fuel- A beverage delivery software app
She obviously has no problem in taking in money and finding ways to make it.
However, she took on a contract worth millions in taxpayer dollars and failed to deliver.
The New York Times has the story:
The mission for the Federal Emergency Management Agency was clear: Hurricane Maria had torn through Puerto Rico, and hungry people needed food. Thirty million meals needed to be delivered as soon as possible.
For this huge task, FEMA tapped Tiffany Brown, an Atlanta entrepreneur with no experience in large-scale disaster relief and at least five canceled government contracts in her past. FEMA awarded her $156 million for the job, and Ms. Brown, who is the sole owner and employee of her company, Tribute Contracting LLC, set out to find some help.
Ms. Brown, who is adept at navigating the federal contracting system, hired a wedding caterer in Atlanta with a staff of 11 to freeze-dry wild mushrooms and rice, chicken and rice, and vegetable soup. She found a nonprofit in Texas that had shipped food aid overseas and domestically, including to a Houston food bank after Hurricane Harvey.
By the time 18.5 million meals were due, Tribute had delivered only 50,000. And FEMA inspectors discovered a problem: The food had been packaged separately from the pouches used to heat them. FEMA’s solicitation required “self-heating meals.”
“Do not ship another meal. Your contract is terminated,” Carolyn Ward, the FEMA contracting officer who handled Tribute’s agreement, wrote to Ms. Brown in an email dated Oct. 19 that Ms. Brown provided to The New York Times. “This is a logistical nightmare.”
That’s not all. Once the contract was terminated, Brown sought to sue FEMA for $70 million.
After Tribute’s failure to provide the meals became clear, FEMA formally terminated the contract for cause, citing Tribute’s late delivery of approved meals. Ms. Brown is disputing the termination. On Dec. 22, she filed an appeal, arguing that the real reason FEMA canceled her contract was because the meals were packed separately from the heating pouches, not because of their late delivery. Ms. Brown claims the agency did not specify that the meals and heaters had to be together.
She is seeking a settlement of at least $70 million. Her subcontractors, Cooking With A Star LLC, and Breedlove Foods Inc., have threatened to sue her for breach of contract, Ms. Brown said. Kendra Robinson, the caterer who runs Cooking With A Star, said she has about 75,000 meals her company prepared for FEMA sitting in an Atlanta warehouse.
Brown is also a woman that is not ignorant of what is going on.
According to her website, she has been involved in politics quite a bit.
“She has held positions with the United States Government Accountability Office, Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, Georgia Law Center for the Homeless, Georgia Conservation Voters, Supreme Court of Georgia, Equifax, Coca-Cola Enterprises, and Atlanta Bar Association. Upon Graduation from Walden University, she has truly impacted change as an academic and practitioner,” her site reads.
Yet, this is not the first time that Brown’s Tribute LLC has had contract cancellations.
The government has also canceled Tribute contracts on at least five occasions.
Four cancellations involved the Federal Prison System, which found that Tribute failed to deliver meat, bakery, cereal and other food products to various correctional institutions. A fifth termination involved the Government Publishing Office, which terminated a contract for 3,000 tote bags after Tribute failed to print the Marine Corps logo on both sides of the bags.
An investigation by the office’s inspector general found that Tribute “altered and submitted a false shipping document and subcontracted the predominant production function on two contracts without proper authorization,” according to a 2015 report submitted to Congress.
The report did not name Tribute, but a Government Publishing Office spokesman confirmed that it was the Georgia company mentioned in the document. The office awarded Tribute 14 contracts totaling more than $80,000 from 2014-15, and the company “routinely delivered late,” the report said.
I ask, why is it the responsibility of the central government to provide meals to hurricane victims? Where in the Constitution is that authorized? For those who want to scream about compassion, compassion is something individuals provide, not government. Using other people’s money that you have threatened if they don’t pay, and using that money to be “compassionate” to someone else is not very compassionate in the first place.
FEMA has been shown time and again to be totally inefficient and when it comes to taking care of people, there is no one better than neighbors, community and individuals with big hearts and generosity.
Since Brown has had her contracts canceled not once but five times, why would the central government ever contract with her again?