And another story about an inexplicable contracting decision regarding a biodefense product, in today’s WaPo:
Last year, a Silicon Valley start-up came close to producing what government scientists considered a breakthrough technology — a device the size of a ski boot that could test for tiny microorganisms at rapid speed, helping to safeguard the nation from bio-threats.
But six months before the firm, NVS Technologies, was to deliver its first prototypes, the Department of Homeland Security suddenly canceled its contract. According to a draft audit report and government scientists familiar with the project, the decision was improperly made by a single agency official, without supporting evidence and over the objections of numerous experts within DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate.
The directorate’s own review had cited “substantial data” showing that the new technology worked and was needed to help detect bio-threats, said the audit by the DHS inspector general’s office. The report, dated Nov. 26, has not been finalized but is expected to be made public soon, government officials said…