Thursday, September 2, 2010

BP (NYSE:BP) Denies Not Paying Rent for Spill Command Center

Responding to accusations it hasn't paid rent in full for the spill command center in Hopedale, Louisiana, BP (NYSE:BP) not only the rent been paid in full, but many of the alleged expenses cited by landowner Amigo Enterprises Inc., haven't been documented or approved.

BP said Amigo Enterprises Inc. has yet to provide documentation they authorized certain work and that the work had been completed.

Tom Mueller, BP spokesman said this, "BP, like most responsible companies, requires certain basic documentation accompany invoices submitted for payment. This documentation is used to verify that work submitted on an invoice was authorized by the company, and to help verify that the work was actually completed."

If any work is done, it must be authorized by what is called the "unified command," which is the combination of BP and the federal agencies working for them.

BP asserts, "Many invoices from St Bernard Parish lack this authorization."

If that is found to be true, these people evidently decided to work and then bill BP for it. In that case, it's unclear as to why BP owes them anything that hasn't been authorized.

That would be no different than construction workers working on a home and then adding on a room without permission, and then billing the homeowners for it.

It's not sure how a discrepancy could there from the rent, as it would be easy to prove, and BP claims they've paid it all.

St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro, oddly says BP owns millions in rent, according to some media reports. If that's the case, it makes no sense, as the figures being thrown out don't seem to be that high for the overall expenses.

Taffaro then goes on to say Amigo is owed several million dollars. So which is it? Is the rent owed in the millions, or is the combination of other services?

Also according to Taffaro, the policy of BP is the fault for late checks because of their policy of reviewing invoices before paying for services. That's standard practice and no company could ever survive which didn't do the same.

There also seems to be some conflict of interest here, as the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff, Jack Stephens, is an officer of Amigo, and would be responsible for issuing the order to vacate.

The command center and its workers were given 10 days to vacate the land.

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