A Senate subcommittee plans to hold a hearing March 1 to examine a government contract awarded to Jane Mobley Associates, as well as "contracts for public relations services at the General Services Administration (GSA) and other federal agencies."
Jane Mobley Associates was awarded a $235,000 contract in 2010 to support the GSA's media relations efforts relating to environmental and health issues at the Bannister Federal Complex in Kansas City.
Local media outlets have reported the complex is contaminated by beryllium, which is used to produce nuclear bombs, and that a number of workers at the plant have been diagnosed with chronic beryllium disease and lung cancer.
The contract is being criticized for its role to reportedly "minimize bad publicity," Senator Claire McCaskill said in a statement in November 2010. A memo written by GSA's John Walsh also criticizes the process in which GSA selected the firm as a vendor.
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) weighs in on the issue, as well. The Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight hearing starts at 10 am.