Emergency Procedures for Conducting State Business for
the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
WHEREAS, pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., a state of emergency was declared through Proclamation No. 48 KBB 2005, as amended by Proclamation Nos. 54 KBB 2005 and 61 KBB 2005;
WHEREAS , Hurricane Katrina has caused unprecedented and extensive damage in the state of Louisiana and this tragic event has significant consequences on the financial conditions of the state;
WHEREAS , the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is an integral part of the economic vitality and recovery of the state, fostering tourism, generating revenue for the hotel and restaurant industry, and garnering recognition nationally and globally as a premier destination for conventions and shows;
WHEREAS , any delay in the restoration of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to a full service convention center may force continued cancellation of conventions and shows, severely decreasing tourism and ultimately affecting the overall economic recovery of the state;
WHEREAS , the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., confers upon the governor of the state of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with emergencies and disasters, including those caused by fire, flood, earthquake or other natural or ma-‑made causes, to ensure that preparations of this state will be adequate to deal with such emergencies or disasters, and to preserve the lives and property of the citizens of the state of Louisiana; and
WHEREAS , the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center requested that time-lines be abbreviated to expedite procurement of certain items to make this facility ready to host all Mardi Gras functions and other major commercial tourism events which will bring in very significant tax revenues and signal the opening of New Orleans;
NOW THEREFORE, KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO , Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: That such statutes which might prevent the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (hereafter "Center"), as a political subdivision of the state of Louisiana, from being authorized and empowered to contract for necessary goods and services regarding the specifications, purchase and/or installation of furniture, equipment, glass, terrazzo tile and construction repairs, and any other related services, materials and repairs thereto to address the damage to the Center as a result from Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, specifically R.S. 38:2181, et seq., and R.S. 39:1551, et seq., are hereby suspended. The Center shall maintain documentation which shall include the vendors’ names and addresses, goods or services purchased, prices paid, invoices and other emergency related reasons for those purchases. Strict compliance with R.S. 38:2181, et seq., and R.S. 39:1551, et seq., shall not be required.
SECTION 2: Notwithstanding any provisions of this Order, when procurements are made which would otherwise be subject to the provisions of R.S. 38:2181, et seq., or R.S. 39:1551, et seq., procedures and requirements set forth in R.S. 38:2212(D)(2) shall be complied with. Additionally, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center shall at a minimum:
A. Establish a centralized point of contact for the convention center that monitors all transactions conducted without strict statutory compliance and maintains copies of all documentation;
B. Solicit competitive quotes and/or offers from at least three potential offerers, whenever possible, and take the necessary steps to assess that fair and equitable pricing is being offered; and
C. Only issue payments to contractors after verification that all goods, services, and repairs meet contract requirements.
SECTION 3: The inspector general is directed and authorized to monitor those transactions conducted outside the scope of regulatory statutes, orders, rules and regulations to insure that those transactions are directly related to the emergency situation and are prudently handled and if any inappropriate transactions are noted, those situations shall be reported directly to the governor.
SECTION 4: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law prior to that date.
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
Secretary of State