Haiti earthquake clean-up contract goes to Haitian-American company

The U.S. Agency for International Development awarded a $3.5 million contract to PHS Group, a Silver Spring, Md., engineering firm, for cleanup work in Haiti, the first earthquake-related contract to go to a Haitian American.

Jean-Robert Siclait, who runs PHS Group, declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for USAID said the contract to manage a debris site near the port in Port-au-Prince "was offered as a set-aside for a small business."

USAID made the contract under the Small Business Administration's 8(a) Business Development Program, which allows USAID to expand partnerships to small businesses through federal authorities.

"It also allows us to work toward federal-wide goals to raise the percentage of U.S. small businesses that have an opportunity to work with the federal government," a USAID spokeswoman said in a statement. This type of award allows USAID "to move quickly in Haiti relief efforts while ensuring that we are partnering with smaller organizations."

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