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Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Inspector General -- AUDIT

"Emergency Response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita:  Audit of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationís Award Process for a Contract With The Advertising Council, Inc.," (A-03-06-00538)

May 31, 2007

PDF FileComplete Text of Report is available in PDF format (86 kb). Copies can also be obtained by contacting the Office of Public Affairs at 202-619-1343.


The audit is one of several reviews of procurements by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and other components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. 

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the Health and Human Services Acquisition Regulation (HHSAR) provide, among other things, that HHS agencies award each contract to a responsible party and document compliance with requirements for full and open competition and the determination that the price was fair and reasonable. 

SAMHSA identified a need to motivate those affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to take care of their emotional well-being and to inform them of available mental health services.  To meet this need, SAMHSA modified an existing contract with The Advertising Council, Inc. (the Council).  The existing contract obligated the Council to conduct national public health campaigns designed to improve the general understanding of mental illnesses and emotional disturbances.  The modifications obligated the Council to furnish radio and television public service announcements to reach adult victims of the hurricanes and first responders, as well as parents and caregivers who could assess the emotional well-being of children affected by the hurricanes.  Our objective was to determine whether SAMHSA complied with FAR and HHSAR requirements during the award process involving the Council.  SAMHSA complied with the requirements.