Dr. Reeves Removed from the CDC's CFS Research Program

Lesley

Senior Member
Messages
188
Likes
4
Location
Southeastern US
Oh, sorry, I could've sworn that Judy M said something about the CDC research coming up trumps in her talk on the 22nd, but I've just looked through the transcript (at least what's been transcribed so far) and I can't find it.

Sorry guys.

Rachel xx
Here is what she said about the CDC:

Also to show no mouse contamination with the CDC, and Bill Switzer - after he saw the results in the paper. He said, I have an assay thatll show its a mouse virus contaminant. Its a very sensitive, very specific PCR. Will you do it? I said, Sure, send it to me. And we did it on all 100 and not a one. Not one cell line in our lab. Hes found a couple in his lab, but we didnt find any. Perfectly controlled. He said, Congratulations, its not a mouse contaminant.
So someone at the CDC has acknowledged that it's not contamination. Also, if they are working together, it seems that she would know how their replication efforts are going.
 

Kati

Patient in training
Messages
5,497
Likes
19,638
Here is what she said about the CDC:



So someone at the CDC has acknowledged that it's not contamination. Also, if they are working together, it seems that she would know how their replication efforts are going.
Thank you Lesley this is a great lil piece of information that I had missed, and an important one. Now, CDC, show us your replication study!!!!

You guys think the CDC will publish on the 14th about the replication study and Reeves had to go? I am sure they know something and not sayin...
 

leaves

Senior Member
Messages
1,193
Likes
32
Oooooh I am so HAPPY!!!!
My sweet, brave and beloved fellow cfsers we totally deserved this!!!!
Congratulations all and hugs all around :)
 

oerganix

Senior Member
Messages
611
Likes
9
Oh, sorry, I could've sworn that Judy M said something about the CDC research coming up trumps in her talk on the 22nd, but I've just looked through the transcript (at least what's been transcribed so far) and I can't find it.

Sorry guys.

Rachel xx
I don't know about trumps, but she did say that, unbeknownst to her, the ORGINAL samples used in the WPI study turned out to have come from many US States AND from UK, Ireland, Germany and Australia. She said they unblinded (was that the word?) the samples over Christmas and that was when she discovered the diverse origins of the samples they used.

Almost sounds like a, perhaps serendipitous, way of allowing Reeves and Wessely to open mouth, insert foot.
 

Cort

Phoenix Rising Founder
Messages
7,371
Likes
2,125
Location
Arizona in winter & W. North America otherwise
Abt is an organization the CDC has used for years to recruit patients using random sampling techniques. THe CFIDS Association documented that the CDC had spent enormous amounts of money - more than even expensive studies use in total - simply to recruit patients for their latest study. The CAA's analysis suggested that at the end of each financial year Dr. Reeves was ending up with a lot of money left in his kitty; since if you don't use you lose it appeared that he may have been dumping the money into Abts bank account. Meanwhile Abt and Emory University were taking years simply to get that project off the ground.

To me the evidence was so devastating that Dr. Reeves could have been fired right there. It wasn't that he was taking money - it was that at a time when most researchers couldn't get a dime he was basically wasting lots. It suggested that he simply didn't have any good projects going. As this was occurring he cut off the Dubbo project and funding for Dr. Klimas's collaborative project - twice apparently - causing her to exclaim that she'd never work with the CDC again. The CAA was apparently alerted to the possibility that something was going on by (a) projects that were taking years to get off the ground and (b) probably by Dr. Vernon. Someone said they wished they were Suzanne Vernon's diary - I imagine its filled with happy faces. Their relationship was on the rocks, when Dr. Vernon left.
 

Cort

Phoenix Rising Founder
Messages
7,371
Likes
2,125
Location
Arizona in winter & W. North America otherwise
Registering Dismay: the CDCs (Platinum) Patient Registry

All the data in here is from the CFIDS Association's investigation

CFS has a long and twisted history with the CDC but perhaps nothing in it has been odder than the strange story of their Patient Registry. This project involves contacting physicians in a small county in rural Georgia (Bibb County, population 150,000) and having them refer patients to the CDC. The patient is then screened by telephone to determine if they might have CFS or unexplained fatigue. If they might then theyre invited to spend a day taking tests at a clinic to determine if they do. The patients that end up with a confirmed diagnosis of CFS or unexplained fatigue will, potentially, be followed for a number of years to see how their disease progresses and will be eligible to participate in future studies.

Thats all well and good; no ones complaining about the idea of having a patient registry or tracking a patients progress over time. (But then again no one would object to the idea of building a bridge to join a small island community to the mainland.) The problem is the cost. The CFIDS Association of America, particular, has had trouble swallowing how much this bridge the CDC is building to the patient community has cost. Yes, medical research is expensive but the money the CDC has been shoveling out is incredible. Youve heard of the Golden Toilet? Welcome to the Platinum Registry.

Simply to get Abt Associates to develop the Patient Registry on paper cost the CDC a whopping $1, 413,000. Lets put this in some context. $1,413,000 is about half the entire budget of the NIHs ME/CFS research program . The CFIDS Association of America is funding six pilot studies for less than $1 million. The Whitmore Peterson Institutes annual budget is $1 million.

Before a single doctor filled a single test tube this project was already one of the most expensive studies ever undertaken in this diseae. Did we mention that this, too, is a pilot study? According to the CDCs webpage The Registry is a one-year pilot study. Hold onto your horses. We havent even gotten past the paper stage yet let alone to that first year.

The next step involved having Abt produce a statement of work (SOW). SOW s contain the nitty-gritty of the project; it includes such things as project timelines, specific budget requirements , etc. This must have been a very difficult document to get together since the CDC paid Abt. almost $600,000 ($583,767) to do it.

Obviously somethings gone very wrong here. Were not talking about small overruns; this is more like defense contractor type stuff. Many large studies - with their planning, laboratory costs, patient recruitment, data analysis and publishing dont cost $600,000. (And were still in stage two of the planning stage). If Abt charged the CDC $50 an hour to produce this document it took them $12,000 man-hours to do it Thats six people working 40 hours a week (no vacations) for a year. (On the other hand it did take them a year to simply put the SOW together).

These figures obviously dont even begin to make sense. What was going on here? Its possible Dr. Reeves funnelled money for the entire project into the first two payments. (If thats true then Abt was allowed to sit on an enormous amount of money for several years as the project wouldnt even begin for another year and a half after the SOW was completed. CFIDS Association has noted that several payments came just before the end of the CDCs fiscal year when the CFS research program may have had money left over. In any case it points to a grand budgetary mess.

The next year the CFS team would spend almost $200,000 on the Patient Registry doing some focus groups . It wasnt until that was done in the fourth year after the project had began that Dr. Reeves submitted it to the Office of Management and Budget for approval. Somehow one of the most expensive project in ME/CFS history essentially got paid for before it was ever approved. No wonder the CDC has been under attack for mismanagement.

Not Research But .. But calling this project a research project is entirely inaccurate -no research will be done here; all this 2+ million dollar I year project will do is provide patients for the CDC to study. The only research this project will engage in is determining whether a patient has CFS are not.

Not that this matters to the participants in the study; none of them will ever be told if they have CFS or not. Thats right. Despite CDC statements that getting treatment early in the course of this disease none of the participants in their study are going to be told if they actually have it.

If we were talking about AIDS research a million dollar overrun or so wouldnt merit mention. But this is ME/CFS a disease that already sits at the very bottom of the federal government funding priorities. This is a disease the federal government spends only about $6 a year per patient on. A disease thats suffering dramatic declines in research funding. A disease that the CDCs own staff admits is receiving 25% less funds that it was 10 years ago. At this level wasting money can really matters.

Opportunity Cost Opportunity Lost The evidence suggests that Dr. Reeves has spent so much money getting patients into this registry that he has little money to do much with them afterwards. According to the Five Year Draft Strategic Plan the biggest CFS research effort on the planet will be engaging in just two laboratory research projects over the next five years. It appears that a good chunk of the money the CDC has and will spend on research will simply go to finding the right patients.

A Cadillac Researcher on a Pinto Budget? Dr. Reeves has always had bigger plans for any ME/CFS than his budget warranted. He initiated a very expensive random sampling scheme to gather his patients in the late 1990s. Then he created a definition that inflated the patient base so much that efforts to subset them became mandatory. He argued that the criteria and the bloated population figures were irrelevant - that once patients were being rigorously measured the subsets should pop out. Yet the big studies needed to ferret out those subsets were never done and five years and at least $40 million later subsets are still not popping out at the CDC. Instead of the increased rigor and the clean slate we were promised were left with a huge population of CFS patients that the research community has no faith in and a definition that needs and apparently will be redone.

Hitting the Wall Dr. Reeves big vision worked OK when he had payback funds to play with and when he and his research team were able to find collaborators to make up for the programs big upfront expenses but the CDCs research team now appears to be hitting the wall. Dr. Vernon, the programs lab chief left and has not been replaced and another member of the team that recently left has not been replaced either. At a time when this program desperately needs collaborators to maximize its reduced funding levels the only people its collaborating appear to be charging Cadillac prices for their efforts.

Abt Jumps In. Undoubtedly overjoyed at the results from their past efforts Abt. Associates opened a new branch in Atlanta in July , 2008 specifically to drum up more business from the CDC. Kathleen Flanagan, Group Vice President for Social, Economic and Health Policy at Abt Associates statedWe are confident that our new Atlanta office will enable us to strengthen communications with our CDC contacts, maximize project continuity, and enhance both the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of our project work.

Who would not want to take advantage of research program that paid over $2 million to develop a protocol and a statement of work? A research program that will doesnt, from what we can to tell, appear to mind seeing start dates pushed back again and again? That is willing to allow a firm to take a year to develop a Statement of Work. That appears to respond to delays with even more infusions of money? Given Abts apparent windfall with their last CFS project its not surprising that the chronic fatigue syndrome was featured prominently in their press release. So long as the CDC is acting like a cash cow they are, like any good business, going to do their best to milk it.

The Patient Registry What has happened to the Patient Registry? It opened in September 2008. Its apparently enrolling patients and will run for one year and then it will be over
 

Esther12

Senior Member
Messages
13,774
Likes
28,359
At first I felt my mind leap to the conclusion that this is XMRV related - but it looks like the CDC is having a big re-organisation anyway. So hungry for news of replication studies...

Someone here posted that they had heard the CDC would be reporting on the 14th of Jan - it's come and gone. I wonder if somthing happened, or if the rumour was just wrong.
 
K

Katie

Guest
At first I felt my mind leap to the conclusion that this is XMRV related - but it looks like the CDC is having a big re-organisation anyway. So hungry for news of replication studies...

Someone here posted that they had heard the CDC would be reporting on the 14th of Jan - it's come and gone. I wonder if somthing happened, or if the rumour was just wrong.

I'd heard that it was the 22nd Jan so I think we're just milling about in a pool of rumours and hopeful speculation. It'll take as long as it takes, where the heck is a fast forward button when you need it? Why can't you sky plus life!
 

oerganix

Senior Member
Messages
611
Likes
9
The times they are a-changin'

Here are some quotes from a 2006 "big splash" from CDC re: CFS : "It's non-adaptation to stress and it's in the genes."

http://www.cfidsreport.com/News/06-CDC-CFS-Controversy.htm

On April 20th, Dr. William Reeves, director of the CDCs CFS research program, announced that the CDC had completed a study that found people with CFS were unable to adapt to challenges and stresses that occur throughout life, such as infections, injury, trauma or various adverse events. Reeves said that knowing that there is now a biologic basis for CFS will help us identify better ways to more effectively diagnose the illness and to come up with more effective treatments, including cognitive behavioral therapy, medications or a combination of both.

(People with polio, syphilis or MRSA infections are not expected to "adapt to challenges and stresses" instead of seeking medical treatments. -oerganix)

According the CDCs Dr Suzanne Vernon, who helped design and interpret the study, We took a pathway-specific approach, so we targeted about 50 genes and about 500 polymorphisms in genes that are active in the HPA axis pathways." Vernon says that the study is "not far from being able to be used clinically" and was designed so the CDC would be able to predict how someone could respond to the types of medications, for example, that they're currently taking to manage their symptoms.

(Why not just ask them, or observe them? -oerganix)

In a 2003 study, CDC researchers maintained that the average weekly workload of its CFS research subjects in Wichita was 48 hours per week.

According to Science magazine, differing opinions as to how to handle emerging womens illnesses such as CFS has made research funding for the disorder highly political.

(So now we know why CFS got pushed over to Women's Health. I'll bet they never expected Wanda Jones to be pro-active on this.-oerganix)

The CDC will soon invest millions of dollars in a educational program that will inform the public, physicians, and scientific community of Reeve's findings. The CFIDS Association of America, a CFS advocacy group, has contracted with the CDC to assist in those efforts.

(INVEST??? Could be, if you have stocks in BigPharma, the insurance industry or an unsupportable theory.- oerganix)

Yay, the times they are a-changin'!
It's about time!!!
 

Dx Revision Watch

Suzy Chapman Owner of Dx Revision Watch
Messages
3,061
Likes
6,087
Location
UK
Hi Min,

I had a technical problem with that post and have reposted it under a new URL which has necessitated deleting the post at the URL above.

I've taken the opportunity of adding in the two posts on Co-Cure, the brief commentary by Mary Schweitzer on the appointment of Dr. Elizabeth R. Unger and the bio on Dr. Elizabeth R. Unger, from Kelly. I've linked to this thread and to Cort's commentary: Dr. Reeves Out at the CDC (Edit: Title now changed by Cort to: Dr. Reeves Removed from the CDC's CFS Research Program)

But the fireworks are still there.

The new URL is:

http://meagenda.wordpress.com/2010/...cfs-research-program-to-take-up-new-position/

Dr William Reeves, head of CDC CFS Research Program to take up new position

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p5foE-2Hx

Suzy
 

muffin

Senior Member
Messages
940
Likes
15
ABT Associates has sleazed other Federal Agencies as well

ABT Associates has been in trouble with several Federal agencies and have had investigations into their accounting practices. In one case, they changed their own rates without asking or telling the contract shop of several agencies. If you Google, you will find a number of Fed agencies that have had to fix ABT's contracting problems and also report to the Inspector Generals. See below for a couple of issues that ABT has dealt with. It is not only CDC where ABT has played contractor games, but many others. I am surprised that the Feds have allowed ABT to continue to be able to bid on government contracts. With the stunts that ABT has pulled, other contracting companies would have been denied the the ability to compete or even put in jail.
I have to assume that they have great lawyers and lobbyists...

ABT Associates, Inc. Of Cambridge Pays $1.9 Million To Settle False Claims Allegations, Reports U.S. Attorney.BOSTON, Mass., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- A Cambridge consulting firm has paid $1.9 million to settle civil charges brought by the federal government under the False Claims Act.
United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Donald K. Stern and Walter C. Holton, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, today announced that ABT ASSOCIATES, INC. ("ABT"), a consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has paid $1.9 million to the United States to settle civil claims arising under the federal False Claims Act.
U.S. Department of Justice
Michael J. Sullivan
United States Attorney
District of Massachusetts
Press Office: (617) 748-3139 John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse, Suite 9200
1 Courthouse Way
Boston, Massachusetts 02210

December 29, 2006
PRESS RELEASE
ABT ASSOCIATES INC OF CAMBRIDGE AGREES TO PAY $2.9 MILLION TO
GOVERNMENT UNDER TERMS OF A DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENT
Boston, MA... A Cambridge, Massachusetts company entered into a deferred prosecution
agreement with the government, filed in federal court today, to resolve allegations of over-billing
on certain government contracts .
United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Donald A. Gambatesa,, Inspector General
of the United States Agency for International Developments Office of Inspector General,
announced today that ABT ASSOCIATES INC ("Abt Associates"), headquartered at 55
Wheeler Street, Cambridge, has entered a deferred prosecution agreement in which Abt
Associates has admitted to criminal wrongdoing in connection with over-billing the government
on various U.S. Agency for International Development ("USAID") contracts and has agreed to a
payment of $2.9 million in fines, restitution, and civil recovery
. Abt Associates is an employeeowned,
for-profit government and business research and consulting firm which employees more
than 1000 people in the United States and abroad. USAID is the government agency responsible
for administering many of the foreign economic programs of the United States and Abt
Associates is one of USAID's largest contractors.
In addition to the payment, Abt Associates has also agreed to abide by a variety of terms
and conditions for a period of twenty-seven months. Under the Compliance and Ethics section
of the deferred prosecution agreement, Abt Associates agreed to hire a third-party auditor to
prepare a written report and certify that Abt Associates is billing USAID in accordance with its
contractual agreements with the government, improve its supervision of foreign site accounting
and finance personnel and implement an on-the-spot employee cash award system to encourage
employees to uncover and report significant government billing errors. Should Abt Associates
fully comply with the terms of the agreement for a period of twenty-seven months, the U.S.
Attorney's Office has agreed to dismiss the Information that was filed in federal court today and
will not prosecute Abt Associates for its false claims to the United States. The United States
Attorney's Office also entered into a separate civil settlement agreement with Abt Associates
under which Abt Associates agreed to pay treble damages to resolve all civil claims stemming
from this investigation. USAID also entered into a separate compliance agreement with Abt
Associates.
As set forth in the Statement of Facts, to which Abt Associates is admitting, from May
1999 through April 2002, Abt Associates submitted more than 110 false invoices to USAID on
cost plus fixed fee ("CPFF") contracts based in Egypt, South Africa and Zambia in that these
invoices over-billed USAID for foreign labor costs.
During the same time period, Abt
Associates submitted similarly false invoices to USAID for CPFF contracts in the Dominican
Republic, Guatemala, Honduras and Rwanda.
By way of background, numerous USAID contracts required Abt Associates to perform
work in foreign countries. Abt Associates typically set up offices in such countries, organized
by contract, and staffed those offices with locally recruited employees who were citizens and/or
residents of those countries, as well as with American citizens recruited in the United States.
When required by the governing USAID contracts, the locally recruited employees were paid in
the local currency (e.g., Egyptian Pounds, South African Rand, and Zambian Kwacha), rather
than in U.S. Dollars. However, Abt Associates was required to submit its contract invoices to
USAID in U.S. Dollars. Many of Abt Associates contracts with USAID were designated "Cost
Plus Fixed Fee" ("CPFF") contracts. Under CPFF contracts, Abt Associates was entitled to be
reimbursed for allowable costs incurred in performing the contract, including local labor costs,
plus a contractually agreed upon fee.
Starting in 1999, exchange rates in many countries in which Abt Associates performed
work for USAID began to fluctuate, notably devaluing in Egypt, South Africa, Zambia and other
countries. As a result of this currency fluctuation, Abt Associates was able to purchase the local
currencies to pay its local employees for fewer U.S. Dollars. Said another way, Abt Associates
true foreign labor costs in dollars decreased. Yet, Abt Associates did not pass its labor cost
savings on to the government as required under the CPFF contracts. It failed to update the salary
information in its billing system and falsely billed USAID for foreign labor charges that were
inflated because they were based on out-of-date foreign currency exchange rates.
As set forth in greater detail in the Statement of Facts, senior management at Abt
Associates knew that the company was over-billing USAID in countries where the local
currency was devaluating relative to the U.S. dollar but they did not stop the over-billing.
This is the second time that Abt Associates has resolved over-billing allegations with the
U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts. In October 1999, Abt Associates paid a $1.9 million to
resolve civil claims for its premature billing of subcontractor costs which violated the terms of
the governing government contracts.
The case was investigated by the USAIDs Office of Inspector General. It is being
prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Freniere and Auditor Thomas Zappala of Sullivans
White Collar Crime Section. The resolution of the civil false claims case was handled by
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris of Sullivan's Civil Division. USAID's Office of the
General Counsel handled drafting of terms and conditions for the compliance and ethics section
of the agreement.
Press Contact: Christina Diorio Sterling, (617) 748-3139
MEMORANDUM http://www.ssa.gov/oig/ADOBEPDF/audittxt/A-05-08-18041.htm
Date: March 12, 2009
To: The Commissioner
From: Inspector General
Subject: Contract for the Benefit Offset National Demonstration Project with Abt Associates, Incorporated (A-05-08-18041)
The attached final report presents the results of our audit. Our objectives were to (1) review the services provided by Abt Associates, Incorporated, under Contract Number SS00-04-60110 and the related costs charged to the Social Security Administration for adherence to the negotiated contract terms and applicable regulations and (2) ensure the Agency received the goods and services for which it contracted.
Please provide within 60 days a corrective action plan that addresses each recommendation. If you wish to discuss the final report, please call me or have your staff contact Steven L. Schaeffer, Assistant Inspector General for Audit, at (410) 965-9700.
Patrick P. O'Carroll, Jr.
OFFICE OF
THE INSPECTOR GENERAL
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
CONTRACT FOR
THE BENEFIT OFFSET
NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION PROJECT
WITH ABT ASSOCIATES, INCORPORATED
March 2009

A-05-08-18041
AUDIT REPORT

Mission
By conducting independent and objective audits, evaluations and investigations, we inspire public confidence in the integrity and security of SSA's programs and operations and protect them against fraud, waste and abuse. We provide timely, useful and reliable information and advice to Administration officials, Congress and the public.
Authority
The Inspector General Act created independent audit and investigative units, called the Office of Inspector General (OIG). The mission of the OIG, as spelled out in the Act, is to:
Conduct and supervise independent and objective audits and investigations relating to agency programs and operations.
Promote economy, effectiveness, and efficiency within the agency.
Prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse in agency programs and operations.
Review and make recommendations regarding existing and proposed legislation and regulations relating to agency programs and operations.
Keep the agency head and the Congress fully and currently informed of problems in agency programs and operations.
To ensure objectivity, the IG Act empowers the IG with:
Independence to determine what reviews to perform.
Access to all information necessary for the reviews.
Authority to publish findings and recommendations based on the reviews.
Vision
We strive for continual improvement in SSA's programs, operations and management by proactively seeking new ways to prevent and deter fraud, waste and abuse. We commit to integrity and excellence by supporting an environment that provides a valuable public service while encouraging employee development and retention and fostering diversity and innovation.

Executive Summary
OBJECTIVE
The objectives of our audit were to (1) review the services provided by Abt Associates, Incorporated, (Abt) under Contract Number SS00-04-60110 and the related costs charged to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for adherence to the negotiated contract terms and applicable regulations and (2) ensure SSA received the goods and services for which it contracted.
BACKGROUND
SSA contracted with Abt to develop the Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) project to test alternate methods of treating work activity in the Title II disability program. The contract states that after the design is completed, subsequent phases of this demonstration are to be awarded to the same contractor on a sole-source basis for the project's implementation, data collection, and evaluation and management. This award will be contingent upon successful performance of the design phase. A $2.4 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract was awarded to Abt with a period of performance from September 2004 to September 2006. Because of contract modifications and additional task orders, the contract was extended to September 2008 at a total cost of approximately $10.6 million.
To inform the BOND design phase, SSA awarded four separate contracts for a total cost of $3.9 million in what was called the Four-State Pilot. The contracts were awarded to Connecticut, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin. The Pilot was to be a 2-year demonstration project expected to end in April 2007. However, numerous contract modifications have extended the contract through April 2009 at an estimated cost of $8.4 million.
RESULTS OF REVIEW
We found that Abt generally adhered to the terms of the contract and delivered the services and final design options that SSA asked for under the contract. However, we have several concerns about the delays and costs associated with the design phase. While SSA is required by law to continue with the demonstration project, we are concerned that the multiple modifications extended the contract period from 2 to 4 years, and the design phase costs increased to $10.6 million, or $8.2 million more than initially expected. We believe approximately $5.3 million, or half of the total costs, could have been put to better use had the contract been better focused and completed within the initial timeframe. The delay of the BOND design phase also led to additional costs under the Four-State Pilot, or $4.5 million more than initially expected. As a result, during our audit period, the obligated cost for BOND and the Four-State Pilot was approximately $19 million, considerably more than the planned combined costs of $6.3 million.Contract Initial Design Costs1
Obligated Costs1 Increase
(Percent)2
BOND $2.4 million $10.6 million 342
Four-State Pilot $3.9 million $8.4 million 115
Totals $6.3 million $19.0 million 202
Note 1: Design costs also include pre-implementation costs added by SSA management.
Note 2: Percent increases do not total since each calculation is specific to each set of costs.
Prior SSA management demonstrated inadequate oversight of the contract's planning, scope and expenditures. While current SSA management attempted to streamline the BOND project's design, financial monitoring of the project was inadequate. For instance, while the Office of Management and Budget requires enhanced controls over cost-reimbursement contracts, in our review of invoices, we were unable to determine whether the contractor over- or under-billed for a specific task due. Furthermore, the contract was not monitored in a way that allowed for quickly detecting or avoiding cost overruns for tasks. Moreover, we found that SSA did not perform timely interim contractor performance evaluations, as required by the contract and recommended by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).
In terms of contract coordination, the first BOND design was submitted to SSA management before the Four-State Pilot participants formally presented their feedback to the contractor. We believe that earlier communication between BOND and the Four-State Pilot regarding the project's design would have enhanced the Pilot's usefulness to the BOND contractor. Finally, we found that the BOND project's current sole-source contract lacks clear separation of duties by allowing the contractor to evaluate its own performance.
RECOMMENDATIONS
To enhance oversight of the BOND project and future contracts of a similar nature, we recommend that SSA:
1. Before awarding the next phase of BOND, ensure a detailed cost-benefit analysis of the BOND design phase has been conducted and documented to support an Agency decision to continue with this contractor. As a part of the analysis, the Agency should have (a) reviewed the current status of the project, (b) assessed what value the Agency received for the costs already incurred, (c) determined whether the entire BOND project can be completed at a reasonable cost, and (d) documented the Agency's justification for the continued use of the current sole-source contractor as well as the type of contract being used.
2. Establish a greater degree of management oversight by strengthening contract oversight roles and responsibilities and more clearly defining contract requirements.

3. Improve financial monitoring by implementing the procedures necessary to (a) identify the work for which the contractor is requesting payment and (b) maintain documentation to prove to an outside party that value was received for the money expended.
4. Conduct and document interim and final evaluations of the contractor's performance in accordance with the contract and as recommended by the FAR.
5. Ensure timely and meaningful participation occurs with other parties associated with the demonstration project, such as the States involved in the Four-State Pilot, to enhance the total project.
6. Ensure the evaluation phase of the BOND contract is conducted by an independent party.
AGENCY COMMENTS
 

muffin

Senior Member
Messages
940
Likes
15
Thanks Cort

I should have been clearer about finding the dirt on ABT Associates. I did spend quite a bit of time using different keywords on Google to find many instances of ABT being in trouble with the Feds. There are more agencies that had to re-look at their contracts with ABT because of the changes made to rates by ABT, but I didn't put all those agencies out there. Since ABT changed their rates it affected all/most of the contracts they had with other Federal agencies.

I really still am amazed that ABT can still bid on Fed contracts. When I was a contractor, we had to be so super careful with everything we did on contracts. The littlest things could get you into trouble. I lived in fear of people working for me lying on their resumes (for proposals) or time cards. FEAR! So it really surprised me that they have gotten away with all that they have. Maybe things have changed since I left? Or back to ABT has great lawyers and lobbyists (or friends on the inside).
 

SeaShel

Senior Member
Messages
111
Likes
0
Location
AZ
I'm thinking I will email and call the "illustrious" William Reeves (don't even want to call him Dr) and congratulate him on his new position.

Should anyone else care to:

Last name Reeves
First name William
Middle name C.
Agency CDC
Organization DHHS/CDC/CCID/NCZVED/DVRD/CVDB
Job title BRANCH CHIEF
Building CLFT
Room DVRD
Duty station Atlanta GA 30329-4018
Phone 404.639.3532
Fax 404.639.2779
Internet e-mail william.reeves@cdc.hhs.gov

Shelley
 

Quilp

Senior Member
Messages
213
Likes
527
I'm thinking I will email and call the "illustrious" William Reeves (don't even want to call him Dr) and congratulate him on his new position.

Should anyone else care to:

Last name Reeves
First name William
Middle name C.
Agency CDC
Organization DHHS/CDC/CCID/NCZVED/DVRD/CVDB
Job title BRANCH CHIEF
Building CLFT
Room DVRD
Duty station Atlanta GA 30329-4018
Phone 404.639.3532
Fax 404.639.2779
Internet e-mail william.reeves@cdc.hhs.gov

Shelley
Ohhhh thanks for the email. I shall furnish his PC monitor with the most colourful of language, ask him why he wears his head upside down, and promise to help him update his C.V. with lies, damn lies and statistics.

Kind regards, Mark
 

starryeyes

Senior Member
Messages
1,558
Likes
86
Location
Bay Area, California
Elliot, It has indeed been posted elsewhere, in fact a party spilled out into the chatroom! I have merged your post into this thread.

Btw, I love your avatar, Stephen Fry is a national treasure and the smartest guy to ever come out of Norfolk!
Hey congrats on becoming a Mod Katie!

Oh, I thought Elliot's avatar was a pic of Paul McCartney. :Retro smile:
 

dipic

Senior Member
Messages
215
Likes
10
I'm thinking I will email and call the "illustrious" William Reeves (don't even want to call him Dr) and congratulate him on his new position.

Should anyone else care to:

Last name Reeves
First name William
Middle name C.
Agency CDC
Organization DHHS/CDC/CCID/NCZVED/DVRD/CVDB
Job title BRANCH CHIEF
Building CLFT
Room DVRD
Duty station Atlanta GA 30329-4018
Phone 404.639.3532
Fax 404.639.2779
Internet e-mail william.reeves@cdc.hhs.gov

Shelley
Thanks for the info. I just sent him my heartfelt congratulations. :D :Retro wink:
 

jspotila

Senior Member
Messages
1,099
Likes
778
More Info

The following was posted on the Association's Facebook page about Dr. Unger, as well as CDC re-organization:

Biosketch of Dr. Elizabeth Unger

Beginning on February 14, 2010, Elizabeth R. Unger, PhD, MD, will serve as acting chief of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Chronic Viral Diseases Branch (CVDB). Dr. Unger is presently the team leader for Molecular Pathology Laboratory in the CVDB branch that has housed the CFS research program since it was created in the late 1980s. (The Chronic Viral Diseases Branch is the former Viral Exanthems and Herpesvirus Branch, renamed in 2006 after a series of reorganizations with few changes to its programs.) Read more about this leadership transition in the CFS Research Program at http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?drafts&id=47921632107#/note.php?note_id=310693095538.

Dr. Unger's undergraduate bachelor of science degree in chemistry was earned at Lebanon Valley College. She then attended University of Chicago where she earned her PhD in experimental pathology while working toward her MD. She completed her residency at University of Chicago and Hershey Medical Center. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Pathology in anatomic pathology.

For 11 years, she was an assistant, then associate, professor in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at Emory University. In 1997, she joined the CDCs staff as section chief, molecular pathology laboratory in the Viral Exanthems and Herpesvirus Branch within the National Center for Infectious Diseases.

She has approximately 125 peer-reviewed publications and 24 book chapters on human papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer, HIV, chronic fatigue syndrome and laboratory techniques used to study infectious agents. She helped establish CDCs partnership with the National Cancer Institute for the Early Detection Research Network.

Dr. Unger was a founding member of the Association of Molecular Pathology and has served on numerous editorial boards, committees and working groups across academic and institutional settings, including for the World Health Organization, Food and Drug Administration, Gates Foundation Global Health Program, American Social Health Association and College of American Pathologists.


Notes About CDC's Organizational Structure

The Chronic Viral Diseases Branch is housed in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, under the Office of Infectious Diseases. CDC proposed an agency-wide reorganization on Dec. 28, 2009 (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-30677.htm). This restructuring, new leadership of CDC under Dr. Thomas Frieden, and changes that occurred after the election of President Obama mean that many leaderhsip positions at CDC (and other federal agencies) are filled by individuals under temporary appointments, or "acting" designations. A large rview of CDC's organizational chart can be viewed at http://www.cdc.gov/maso/pdf/CDC_Chart_wNames.pdf. This chart itself is marked "INTERIM" and staff designated with (A) are acting (as of Jan. 19. 2010).

Under the Dec. 28, 2009 proposed restructuring, the National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases (NCPDCID) and the National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (NCZVED) are proposed to be realigned into a single center with the title "National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disesases" (NCEZID).