Eric May, the Department of the Interior IG investigator is on very thin ice in his jihad against Charles Monnett. Eli is happy that the bunnies are underneath sawing away
Somebunny who knows more about the Polar Bear Follies than most has put up information, about which Eli, who obviously knows it all did not know. It got caught in the spam filter in the original post, but, if this is what they got, the IG is going to be embarrassed.
Keep those cards and letters coming little hares.
This has been an interesting discussion, so if anyone is still monitoring here is some information that you may find interesting:
Monnett and Derocher first met on September , 2003 at a polar bear monitoring workshop being hosted by the USFWS in Anchorage, Alaska. At that time, Monnett became aware that U Alberta and the Canadian Wildlife Service were beginning a massive capture effort of polar bears that offered a unprecedented opportunity to select young animals for collaring to study their dispersive movements. The question of interest was whether the existing politically-based stock designations had any basis in reality. If not that would have profound consequences for interpreting prior attempts at modeling the recovery of the Southern Beaufort Sea population from various oil-spill scenarios.
A draft study profile was created in October 2003, followed by a budget in November that reflected significant cost sharing by the Canadians. This would contradict IG assertions that the study was created to reward Derocher for his favorable review of the 2006 paper. The dead bears were not seen until September, 2004, nearly a year after the original study profile was written. Of course, Derocher was not a peer reviewer for the Journal, as the IG asserted. That should be clear from a reading of the "Acknowledgements" in the published paper. Below are some excerpts from the original October 13th profile. In the introduction:
"The purpose of this study is to create a collaborative study of polar bear dispersal and population structure between University/Government researchers and Native subsistence hunters in villages along the Canadian Beaufort Sea, and adjacent coastlines. It will be complementary with previous and ongoing studies conducted in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea Region, but will add new insights because of the emphasis on population genetical mechanisms, particularly dispersal. Approximately 200 polar bears are expected to be captured in the Canadian Beaufort Region, each year for the next 3 years. This study is timed to take advantage of considerable savings in logistics by partnering with that ongoing study."
And the very first method is to:
"1. Develop a partnership between University and Canadian Government polar bear biologists, and Canadian Natives to implement a study of juvenile polar bears using long-lived satellite transmitters for monitoring."
Essentially the same language is published on page 155-6 of the official 2005 Annual Study Plan posted on the BOEMRE website at:
The type of study was shown as an "Intra-agency" Agreement because when the study was conceived it was expected to be an "agreement" rather than a contract since UA and CWS would provide nearly $1M funds toward the objectives.
See also the Annual Study Plan for 2010 pages 109-110 where essentially the same language continues to be used in the introduction and methods:
When it became apparent to the contracting officer that it would be difficult to procure a study with Canadians as an "agreement" the approach was changed to "sole-source", a poor fit for a study that required negotiation of objectives and details about cost-sharing so that funds could be requested through the study planning system at MMS.
A sole-source justification was drafted in late-December, 2003. On December 20, the CO directed Monnett to forward the Statement of Work to Derocher so that he could get started on his proposal as there was a hope to get the study in the field that spring. In a memo dated December 21, the Chief Scientist of MMS also directed Monnett to forward the SOW to Derocher stating that the CO had informed him that the study did not require publishing in Fed Biz Ops, which is the normal protocol for sole-source procurements. At the beginning of the year, the senior CO retired leaving a vacuum until early March when a junior CO was appointed.
After sending Derocher the proposal, Monnett and Derocher exchanged emails on January 10, 2005. In this message Monnett tells Derocher that when he is "happy" with his draft proposal to forward it and they (CM and AD) can work together to "work out any rough spots". Monnett was thinking of the usual rough spots he sees in drafts of cooperative proposals, issues with spelling out the cooperation and documentation of co-funding. Below is a copy of the January 10th email from Monnett to Derocher:
-----Original Message-----"Excellent! I was thinking about you this AM. At this end, I am waiting for a HQ reviewer of the SOW to return from holiday so that I can satisfy all the channels. I believe she is back today so things should start to move at our end, shortly. Email the draft to me when you are happy with it and together we can work out any rough spots. You will get the official RFP from the Contracting Officer after everyone is happy with the SOW. Your proposal will respond to that official contact when it occurs. Hope you had a great holiday. cm"It turned out that a pretty decent draft was finally submitted by Derocher on April 14th. At that time Derocher was struggling with a new requirement to submit the proposal electronically. Monnett responded with the email message below.
"Sorry to take so long to reply...bit distracting around here. I'm headed to Wash DC area for next two weeks but will monitor my email and try to move your proposal along when I see it. What you have seems on target. The most important thing is that objectives and methodology conform to the statement of work, and that seems to be the case. Put in what details you can and if we have further questions we won't be shy. Hope the bureaucracy doesn't get you down. You or your bean counters should get back to the MMS Contracting Officer if you have questions on that side."This is apparently the evidence the IG has that Monnett helped "draft" the Derocher proposal.
When the new CO came on board in early March, the new regime approached the procurement much more conservatively and a Fed Biz Ops Notice was developed. A new senior CO took over who eventually signed the award, but she was not involved in the details of the procurement. That senior CO was who the IG interviewed. No surprise she had no knowledge of what had actually taken place.
That sounds an awful lot like grants.gov v-1.0.
Please cast the video below.