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Audit Finds U.S. Hid Cost of Iraq Projects

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Posted on Jul 30, 2006

More inspiring news about our government: A State Dept. agency used an accounting shell game to hide cost overruns on Iraq projects and withheld info on scheduling delays from Congress.


N.Y. Times:

BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 29 ? The State Department agency in charge of $1.4 billion in reconstruction money in Iraq used an accounting shell game to hide ballooning cost overruns on its projects there and knowingly withheld information on schedule delays from Congress, a federal audit released late Friday has found.

The agency hid construction overruns by listing them as overhead or administrative costs, according to the audit, written by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent office that reports to Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department.

Called the United States Agency for International Development, or A.I.D., the agency administers foreign aid projects around the world. It has been working in Iraq on reconstruction since shortly after the 2003 invasion.

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By Vietnam Vet, July 30, 2006 at 6:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Previously, I posted comments on the Halliburton contract from the perspective of a retired government contract specialist. I will not post them again, unless some are interested in seeing them. However, my question here is: why have we not seen the results of an audit on the Halliburton contract? After over three years, it would seem high time that we did, given the amount of controversy that has leaked out regarding fraud, waste, and abuse. I believe it has to do with Halliburton Cheny pulling the levers and preventing an audit. In the subject of this article, I believe a medical facility, there were some 270+ days of delay in completion, not to mention the overruns in funding. Where are the liquidated damages, i.e., the fee the contractor has to pay the government for each day of delay, and is a requirement under the Federal Acquisition Regulation. (Unless, of course, a determination is made that it would not be appropriate. One would like to see the D&F that waived the damages if that be the case!) Who is being accountable for this cover up? If I had hidden this type of fraud, I would have been summarily terminated! Hidding this type of fraud requires the collaboration and approval of others very high in the chain of command; no contract specialist at the working level would take that on his/her self. We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg here. There will eventually be contract personnel (whistle blower types) that will come forward on the fraud, waste, and abuse, under many other contracts and when that happens, the American tax payers are going to be stunned! You ain’t seen nothing yet!

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