The tail end of President Obama's Africa Trip -- which stopped in Tanzania, the third and final stop on this tour -- contributed $650,000 toward the reportedly $60-$100 million journey. And that was just for the hotel rooms, U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor has discovered.
According to a Justification and Approval for Other Than Full & Open Competition, or JOFOC, document that the Monitor located via routine database research, the U.S. Department of State requested "an estimated number of 179 single rooms intermittently from June 14 thru July 10, 2013.
The president and First Lady Michelle Obama stayed in Tanzania July 1-2. State justified booking all of those rooms for several weeks, however, based on its assessment that:
Hotels are predicting 100% occupancy due to bookings from the USG [U.S. government] and other high level VIP delegations from other countries. In order to fulfill our requirement, the USG is renting nearly the entire hotel and is utilizing a variety of room types, which were negotiated at a one-price-fits-all rate which benefits the USG.
Requirements for rooms from the USG and other countries, coupled with the limited supply of suitable, available hotels in Dar Es Salaam, created a peak demand for rooms. Prices for rooms at the Hyatt for this visit are within the rates charged for similar rooms during this season and are similar to the prices received from other hotels. As such, the rates are the established market rates for this class of hotel.
State awarded the no-bid contract to Hyatt Dar Es Salaam because "Security concerns prohibit sufficient advanced notification of VIP travel to allow for sufficient time to conduct full and open competition," the document says.
State released the JOFOC document on July 26. It awarded the contract, however, June 19.