NOAA botched decision to move Seattle fleet to Oregon, audit finds

by Tim Flanagan on June 30, 2010

Sandi Doughton has the story in the Seattle Times:

Before deciding to move its research fleet from Seattle to Newport, advice Ore., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) failed to adequately consider the potentially cheaper option of existing federal facilities in Seattle, a federal auditor’s report says.

The report also takes NOAA to task for failing to analyze the total long-term cost of moving the ships to Newport, which lacks major maritime facilities and is more than 200 miles from the Seattle-based researchers who use the vessels.

"We are unable to provide assurance that NOAA’s award of the lease to the Port of Newport provided the most cost-effective solution … for the government," said the final report from Todd Zinser, the Commerce Department’s Inspector General (IG). NOAA is a branch of the Commerce Department.

The report is advisory, and NOAA seems to be sticking with its choice.

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