Landrieu Meets with ICF President/CEO in Advance of Road Home Hearing
Presses contractor on program's management, executive pay.
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today commented on her meeting this afternoon with Sudhakar Kesavan, President and CEO of ICF, the firm contracted to manage the State of Louisiana's "Road Home" rebuilding program.
"Today I expressed to Mr. Kesavan my long-standing and continued concerns regarding the state's rebuilding program, and made clear my expectations for complete openness and transparency when the company testifies before my subcommittee later this month," said Sen. Landrieu, Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
"I remain concerned about the slow pace of awards and closings and question the contract award amount granted to ICF, especially in light of possible funding shortfalls in the Road Home. It is particularly disturbing that at the same time, ICF's executives were being rewarded with outrageous bonuses."
The Road Home program was developed after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) in negotiations with the White House and Gulf Coast Recovery Coordinator. It provides rebuilding grants of up to $150,000 per home and was funded through $8.08 billion in federal Community Development Block Grants provided by last year's emergency supplemental appropriations bills. Recent press accounts have estimated a program budget shortfall of more than $3 billion.
Sen. Landrieu announced Monday that the Disaster Recovery Subcommittee will on May 24 hold a hearing in Washington to investigate the budget shortfall and other obstacles to recovery evident in the Road Home program.
"From the White House's opposition to adequate funding and flexibility in developing the program, down to the initial crafting and continuing management, the projected shortfall and other bureaucratic impediments to the Road Home's success are the product of many mistakes made at several levels," Sen. Landrieu said today.
"Our hearing will hold all accountable and will be a key step in charting the course forward to ensuring a reliable, effective and efficient rebuilding program. This is a critical element to our recovery, and it is essential that we get it working."