DOJ makes note of GCCF excuses

Sometimes being thankful simply involves knowing that someone in a position of influence took notice.

That is the case this week after U.S. Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli called out Gulf Coast Claims Facility Administrator Kenneth Feinberg following reports that the GCCF had not been responsive regarding oil spill declarations.

The Associated Press reported that in a letter sent to Feinberg on Friday, Perrelli indicated that he was not impressed with a GCCF excuse that more claims had not been settled because of poor documentation, particularly since listings of applications needing additional work had decreased during the previous two weeks.

Perrelli said he expects to see a greater level of transparency from the GCCF, which had been heavily criticized for not answering or returning telephone calls or being supportive to efforts of organizations trying to help businesses and individuals secure materials needed to make complete claims.

It was revealed that BP compensates Feinberg $850,000 a month to administer $20 billion and pay damages incurred from the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill to qualified individuals and businesses. It was also noted that any of the $20 billion not claimed n now by Aug. 23, 2013 n will be returned to BP.

Feinberg responded to Perrelli’s scolding and said that $2.2 billion had been paid to 125,000 claimants. Yet, it was also reported that nearly 60,000 claims had been denied and 72,000 are still under review.

Feinberg responded to the DOJ letter Saturday and admitted: “I think it is always wise to listen carefully to constructive criticism from the Justice Department. They want me to improve transparency, and I plan to do so.”

We agree that it is a good idea to listen to the Justice Department, and on this Thanksgiving are grateful that someone there took notice.