Company with no medical supply experience gets $2.4M contract to make surgical gowns

A company with no medical supply experience that was created by a former Pentagon official won a $2.4 million contract to supply the Bureau of Prisons with surgical gowns, ProPublica reported. 

The company, BlackPoint Distribution Co., was formed in August 2019 in Indiana by Mathew Konkler, who worked in the Department of Defense during the George W. Bush administration. He also served as a volunteer for Vice President Mike Pence in 2018 and 2019, according to ProPublica

A spokesperson for Mr. Pence told ProPublica that Mr. Konkler had previously helped coordinate some of Mr. Pence's travel but was not a current volunteer. He added that no one in the vice president's office had a role in Mr. Konkler receiving the federal contract. 

The contract to supply the Bureau of Prisons with surgical gowns is BlackPoint Distribution's first federal award. 

The company's website says its goal is "locating, verifying and successfully delivering vital products and equipment in the midst of extremely challenging environments," ProPublica reported. 

"The Bureau of Prisons took a risk awarding a $2.5 million contract to a new company. Let's hope this ends up as a success story and not another example of a pop-up contractor trying to profit from an emergency situation," Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, told ProPublica

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons told ProPublica that the final shipment of surgical gowns was delivered June 25. 

Mr. Konkler declined to comment to ProPublica

Blackpoint Distribution is one of more than 445 first-time federal contractors that have been awarded contracts during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a ProPublica analysis of federal contracting data. New contractors have received more than $2 billion in federal funding as of June 25. 

Read the full article here.

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