Company with no medical supply experience gets $10M federal contract

Fillakit, a company formed May 1, was granted a $10.2 million contract from the federal government to make COVID-19 testing supplies despite having no experience in making medical supplies, the Tampa Bay Times reported. 

The company was registered with the state of Florida on May 1 and within a week was granted the multimillion dollar contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make swabs and containers for uncontaminated samples, according to ProPublica

The only name on the company's state registration is a lawyer based in St. Petersburg, Fla., who specializes in real estate and estate planning. The company's principal address is listed in Conroe, Texas. 

ProPublica linked Fillakit to a man with a history of financial troubles and a $2.7 million settlement in a federal fraud case. 

Steven Kelmen, PhD, a professor at Harvard University and a former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, told the Tampa Bay Times he was surprised the government awarded the contract with no history of the company providing medical supplies. 

A FEMA spokesperson told the Tampa Bay Times the agency "does not enter into contracts unless it has reason to believe they will be successfully executed."

Kira Doyle, the lawyer listed on Fillakit's registration, told the Tampa Bay Times that the concerns about the company are unfounded and paint an unfair picture of the company. She said the company was formed to fill a void in the medical supply chain and has 200 workers. 

As of May 28, Fillakit has delivered more than 1.1 million units of medical supplies to the government and has been paid $1.7 million, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

Read the full article here

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