Federal award for poultry house lighting project challenged by Once Innovations
Company requesting hold on funds until concerns regarding bidding, award procedures addressed
LED lighting technology developer and manufacturer Once Innovations is challenging the Arkansas Economic Development Commission on its administration and award of a federal stimulus grant for the Advanced Lighting for Poultry Houses Project.
ONCE has requested that no award funds be distributed until the EDC can resolve questions raised by ONCE about potential defects in the bidding, specification, evaluation and award procedures. ONCE has raised concerns about the procedures used in both Phase One and Phase Two of the grant, which is intended to help Arkansas poultry growers retrofit their barns with energy efficient LED lighting, contending that procedures appear to have been implemented in a manner such that any award of federal funds resulting from these procedures would be improper under the Administrative Procedures Act.
ONCE has submitted a request for information under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act and with the U.S. Department of Energy under the Freedom of Information Act. Formal filing of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse Report within the provisions of the American Re-investment and Recovery Act may follow. "We’ve been clear with [the EDC] from the start as to what actions we intend to take," said ONCE CEO Zdenko Grajcar. "We’ve been consistent with our actions and we are not going to deviate from those plans.”