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Marty Walsh defends Boston’s no-bid contract to ex-Gen. McChrystal’s firm

"We had literally ten days before coronavirus just exploded all over.”

Mayor Marty Walsh Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe, File

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BOSTON (AP) — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is defending his administration’s decision to award a $1 million, no-bid contract to retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s consulting firm to help with the city’s coronavirus response.

Walsh tells WGBH News that the McChrystal Group was retained to bring a military-style approach to coordinating and communicating among city agencies during the pandemic.

Documents obtained by the radio station show eight people from the Alexandria, Virginia-based firm worked with Boston, none with public health expertise.

Walsh maintained the administration couldn’t follow the traditional public bidding process because of the urgency.

“This isn’t the typical no-bid contract,” he told the station. “This is where we had literally ten days before coronavirus just exploded all over.”

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Walsh’s office announced the McChrystal contract in late March, but the city has offered few details about the firm’s work.

The administration said the work will likely be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, along with other virus-related expenses.

McChrystal commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan during President Barack Obama’s administration.

Boston awarded about $12 million in emergency contracts for its coronavirus response as of mid-June, the station reported.

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