This is truly fun about the Whitefish contract

So, Whitefish is the two man company that was hire to deal with Puerto Rico’s power system being down.

The basic idea of hiring a tiny company isn’t that strange. Much of the US Federal contracting system works this way. Hire some tiny company to run the subcontracting process – because that gets all of it away from the horribly restrictive rules on how direct Federal employees must be hired and treated.


So, why did this specific one win the contract? Well, there’s talk about political pull and who the hell knows? But something we do know. PR’s credit rating is somewhere between non-existent and in the toilet. The other companies contacted were asking for substantial upfront payments therefore. Whitefish asked for much less in advance.


When asked by the CNN interviewer if he would do this again, Techmanksi paused and replied: “I would, I would do a lot of things different.”

“I would probably get paid a lot more up front to cover the risks.”

Oh, why’s that?

Prepa said that pending payments had been halted after a Whitefish subcontractor contacted the authority requesting the stoppage because Whitefish owed them money. “Faced with this claim, Prepa had to stop the pending payments to Whitefish until the situation with the Whitefish subcontractor is clarified,” its statement read.

Isn’t that a classic move? Bankrupt your supplier and then cut the amount owed through negotiating with the liquidator. Or even taking over the company itself now that it’s bust. Or, perhaps, negotiating down the amount that must be paid to aid it in avoiding bankruptcy.

And the reason Whitefish got the contract was because those other potential suppliers were wise to this perhaps? Or even, were large enough that the trick couldn’t be pulled on them?

10 thoughts on “This is truly fun about the Whitefish contract”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    This really Third World stuff. The process was likely corrupt. No sane administration would give the contract to these people with some backhander. But it also appears to have cut out the important companies who have spent too much lobbying in Washington to allow some upstart to take the contract from them. So they have to be punished and pushed out of the process.

    Still that is what Puerto Rico is – a Third World country attached to a functioning White country and its welfare state.

  2. SMFS, it’s no different on the U.S. mainland.

    My brother refused to do any work for the U.S. government after they kept changing scope of projects, and stiffed him on payments.

    Bureaucrats will be bureaucrats.

  3. Large corporations are notoriously bad at paying suppliers. The Korean ones almost seem to measure their success on a project by whether they’ve managed to force one or more into bankruptcy.

  4. On the other hand, HMG, centrally, is good at paying small suppliers. One of the few plus points, for small businesses, to come out of the Cameron years.

    I’ve never tried ‘working’ for local authorities.

  5. It’s even worse when you get down to political parties. They seem to have a fundamental principle that paying bills is for other people. I let an office to one years ago and they left me to pay the telephone bill. I sent them invoices to be told off: “do *NOT* keep sending me these”.

    It wasn’t worth persuing it, so I just added it to my allowable losses. Yay! Tax avoidance!

  6. @SE
    I’ve done work for local authorities (and the NI gov). As a one-man IT specialist, I’m in a slightly odd situation, in that I won’t be used by organisations that don’t have a Scooby (and there are plenty in both private and public sectors) – they’ll go for a big name consultancy, on the spurious grounds that “no-one ever got fired for buying IBM/PwC”.

    A criticism is that they’re often required to hire someone with specific certifications: which are (a) usually meaningless; and (b) would be far too expensive for me, since they normally require several thousand pounds to acquire (usually with annual renewal on top) which makes no sense if I’m only using them for (say) 20 days a year. So I go through a third party who already has the certification. They simply add 10-20% to my daily rate and the job’s a good ‘un. The only loser is (as usual) the poor old taxpayer.

    But, generally, my experience has been positive and I’ve always been paid on time.

  7. @Tim

    Isn’t that a classic move? Bankrupt your supplier… Or even taking over the company itself now that it’s bust.

    Isn’t that Woolworths (UK) did? Keep increasing trade with a manufacturer until >90% of their output, then demand large price cut or no more purchases.

  8. @TimN

    “Large corporations are notoriously bad at paying suppliers. The Korean ones almost seem to measure their success on a project by whether they’ve managed to force one or more into bankruptcy.”

    The shipyards there pay promptly.
    Greek shipowners though…

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