Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Audit Finds Millions Wasted in Iraq Reconstruction Contract

TruthOut.org - Agence France-Presse

Washington - Millions of dollars were likely wasted on a $900 million army contract to build courthouses, prisons, police and other security facilities in Iraq, an audit released Monday has found.

The audit by the congressionally appointed Special Inspector General for Iraq, Stuart Bowen, found that the contractor, Parsons Delaware Inc., completed only about a third of 53 planned construction projects.

"Although the failure to complete some of the work is understandable because of its complex nature and the unstable security environment in Iraq, millions of dollars in waste are likely associated with incomplete, terminated and abandoned projects under this contract," the audit report said.

The contract was one of a dozen design-build construction contracts awarded by the army in 2004 to restore Iraq's infrastructure in broad areas such as security and justice, water, oil, electricity and transportation.

Parsons was supposed to build police and civil defense training areas, two prisons, two courthouses, fire stations, and border control facilities.

The report said more than $142 million, or nearly 43 percent of the funds disbursed so far, "were spent on projects that were either terminated or cancelled, although a number of the projects were subsequently completed."......

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