The company of a prominent Democratic donor has pulled in more than $270 million worth of government contracts under President Barack Obama.
Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc., a D.C.-based consulting company that "provides technical assistance, training, and management services to promote social and economic development" in developing and transitional nations, boasts of having managed hundreds of long-term bilateral project implementation contracts in addition to numerous short-term projects. Cheechi’s clients have included U.S. government agencies along with international entities such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and African Development Bank.
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The company has secured 180 federal government contracts totaling $270 million in compensation under the Obama administration, according to USA Spending.
"The company has had a pioneering role in supporting USAID initiatives to strengthen the rule of law and the legal foundations for sustainable economic growth," Checchi’s website states. "Checchi has completed assignments related to the modernization of legal frameworks and the reform of judicial systems in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. The company is presently implementing major USAID-funded judicial and legal reform programs in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Moldova, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Colombia."
Between 2008 and 2016, a majority of the contracts that were awarded to Checchi were from USAID. Checchi was awarded a $15 million contract from the agency on April 14, 2016, the most the group has received for any contract since 2008. Checchi was awarded $10 million in 2013 from USAID, the second highest amount the group pulled in during this time.
In all, the company secured $18.8 million worth of government contracts in 2008; $14.7 million in 2009; $18.8 million in 2010; $43.2 million in 2011; $21.6 million in 2012; $53.9 million in 2013; $19 million in 2014; $44.1 million in 2015, and $36.6 million in 2016.
Checchi has faced scrutiny in the past after landing a lucrative multi-million, no-bid contract from the Obama administration.
That contract, which was awarded to Checchi on Jan. 4, 2010, carried a price tag of $24,673,427 and was given to provide "rule of law stabilization services" in Afghanistan. "The legality of the arrangement as a ‘sole source,’ or no-bid, contract was made possible by virtue of a waiver signed by the USAID administrator," Fox News wrote of the arrangement at the time.
Checchi Consulting said the deal was an extension of a contract that was first awarded in 2004 under President George Bush. Both Republican and Democratic politicians demanded answers despite the company’s explanation.
The arrangement additionally garnered criticism due to Obama previously chastising Bush over what he called "sweetheart" deals in relation to government contractors when first running for president.
"I will finally end the abuse of no-bid contracts once and for all," Obama said as a candidate in 2008. "The days of sweetheart deals for Halliburton and the like will be over when I'm in the White House."
The State Department later said the contract violated President Obama’s pledge and was eventually terminated after public criticism.
Vincent V. Checchi, an economist and the founder of Checchi and Company, has given generously to Democrats throughout the years.
Checchi has given at least $8,700 to the Obama’s campaigns during the 2008 and 2012 election cycles, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. Checchi has also contributed at least $2,200 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the 2016 election cycle.
Additionally, Checchi has provided thousands in donations to the likes of DNC Services Crop, Priorities USA Action, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and numerous Democratic politicians.
Checchi and Company did not return a request for comment on the contracts by press time.