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The tally for Hurricane Katrina waste could top $2 billion next
year because half of the lucrative government contracts valued
at $500,000 or greater for cleanup work are being awarded with
Federal investigators already have determined the Bush
administration squandered $1 billion on fraudulent disaster aid
to individuals after the 2005 storm.
Now they are shifting their attention to the multimillion-dollar
contracts to politically connected firms that critics have long said
are a prime area for abuse.
Investigators are examining whether some of the agreements —
which in some cases were extended without warning rather than
rebid — are still unfairly benefiting large firms.