Bill de Blasio’s pandemic bungling
Hand it to The City for digging up the proof that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s team bungled the onset of the pandemic even more than anyone knew.
The city agency responsible for procuring masks, ventilators and other vital gear was so overwhelmed that it lost track of deliveries and distribution of key equipment, from masks to ventilators.
Tasked with executing $1.4 billion in emergency, no-bid contracts, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services struggled with neither a proper inventory-tracking system nor experienced staff.
It ordered supposedly “high-quality” masks and life-saving ventilators from vendors who just weeks prior were suppliers of auto parts and hoverboards. When the goods proved far less than promised, it paid anyway — and then ordered more from the same vendors (one of them a big Blas donor).
Its efforts to buy surgical masks wound up leaving it with hundreds of thousands of dust masks that went unused.
Meanwhile, its Warehouse Management System failed to work to its specs. Workers couldn’t systematically monitor the huge number of PPE supplies and other shipments that arrived at DCAS’s cavernous Queens storehouse — nor what went out, and where to. Purchase orders went missing because the system used wasn’t compatible with WMS. Trailers of unusable equipment now sit untouched.
Comptroller Scott Stringer is investigating — but City Hall isn’t cooperating, he told The City: “The city is playing a game. They’re slow-walking their documents and it will not be tolerated.”
One frustrated DCAS manager blurted out at a May meeting: “Stop this s– t! Stop this s – t! Fix the problem!” We fear that one reason for City Hall’s stall is that they never did “fix the problem.”
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