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COST PLUS CONTRACT IN IRAQ WHAT A WASTE

From an anonymous news contributor

7/4/2010

I am writing this article, because I saw in Iraq money being wasted by the hundreds of thousands of dollars and still don't understand why completely. I went to Iraq to better myself and to support my family. The lack of a good living had force me to make bad decision on my part, but it did open my eyes on wasted taxes on war and the greed that follows it. I'm writing this to give a first hand look at what I saw in Iraq.

It was February 2009 and I left my family and friends. I first went to JBB in Iraq for my training before moving to a place called Ramadi. By this point I had spent about two months in Iraq and KBR already spent $60,000 on my training, transportation and housing. I will start from the beginning of my adventure in Houston. This is the place where KBR in-processes new personnel going to Iraq.

KBR gets paid by what they call a cost-plus contract with the Government. Here's how it works and maybe this will describe it correctly. What ever a contractor spends the company gets a 3% return on there money. So basically the more they spend the more they get. KBR has had numerous court battles and law suits for abusing this contract. This is were waste comes in. Believe me wasting money is there number one effort in this war. They find more ways to waste money, than anything I have ever seen.

Here listed are some of the wastes I have witnessed.

Burn pit with full stand up tool boxes, Snap-On tools thrown away costing several thousands of dollars each. I saw things thrown away that were in prefect condition and turn around and order more just to do the same thing again.

Personnel are hired with an expensive process to get them to Iraq at a cost of 50,000 to 60,000 each. Then the Government gives KBR bonuses for retaining personnel up to the first year. After the first year in theater KBR tries to get you out of there, so you can quit and get rehired to go though the whole process once again. I have seen people that have been rehired four or five times by KBR. Personnel are hired at a rate that is unheard of. When I went though the processing center in Houston there were about 500 to 700 personnel each week being processed and this has been going on since the beginning of the war. At one time KBR had 76,000 personnel in Iraq. KBR had at one time so many people doing the same job that most didn't do anything but sit around and watch T.V. Also KBR has what they call SCW (sub contract worker) or TCN (third country national) doing the physical labor and KBR personnel watching them do the work. I have seen ten SCW's and one KBR supervisor doing the simple task of cleaning an AC unit and taking an hour to complete the task on one unit.

I have seen the Government being charged for jobs that supposedly being done and never being completed.

This waste has been going on for years as can be verified in an article from 2004 where former KBR truck driver David Wilson testified:

"KBR would transport trucks without any cargo inside. One time, we ran 28 trucks and only one had anything on it," he said. "Nobody knew why we were hauling around empty trucks, but it definitely caused extra wear and tear, which just made maintenance a bigger problem."

I saw a camp in Iraq that was being turned over to the Iraqis, jobs that had not been completed all of a sudden needed to get done at huge cost. Why would you start building things like mess halls, fire station and office building on a camp when the US Military was closing that camp and turning it over to the Iraqis? One camp turned over to the Iraqis, I witnessed them stealing the wire, conduit, wood and what ever they could get there hands on. The Iraq police are the most corrupt people I have ever seen. When that camp was handed over to them, they sold everything we left behind, which was everything you can think of. Millions of dollars just wasted. And this same situation has happened in several hundreds of camps we have closed in Iraq.

I have seen so much money wasted, I just can't even comprehend the cost to the American tax payer. It is just sick how this is being done. I just wanted to let the people know it just disgust me to no end of how we just sit back and do nothing. War for profit is real and I got to see it first hand.

Witnesses tell stories of contracting abuses in Iraq

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing today on "Contracting Abuses in Iraq: Is the Bush Administration Safeguarding American Taxpayer Dollars?" Chairman Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) said this was the thirteenth in a series of oversight hearings to examine contacting abuses in Iraq, such as inappropriate awarding of major contracts, unsubstantiated costs and overcharges, and delivery of unsafe water to the troops in Iraq. Dorgan wants to create a special committee in the U.S. Senate, modeled after the Truman Committee, to "exercise oversight over contracting abuses related to reconstruction and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Frank Cassaday, former KBR employee, said he saw items being wasted in burn pits rather then paying to transport or store them, witnessed numerous illegal activities by KBR managers and employees, and knew of officers withholding ice from troops going into the desert to instead give ice to friends and co-workers or trade for DVDs, CDs, and other items at the Iraqi shops across the street. He also said employees padded their hours and staffed unnecessary workers on a project, which resulted in "more government dollars paid for work never performed." When he reported stolen items to the camp manager, he said he was punished and retaliated against by the KBR ice manager.

Linda Warren, another former Halliburton/KBR employee, was also retaliated against for reporting looting by KBR employees. She said "there appeared to be widespread corruption and no system of checks and balances." She witnessed inflation of the number of troops using the facilities, sometimes counting a soldier 8 times. Warren said she was "ashamed to be an American working in Iraq."

Halliburton Whistleblowers Say Millions Wasted in Iraq

New testimony from former Halliburton workers and congressional auditors released in Washington, D.C., this week has revealed millions of dollars worth of wasteful practices, major over billing and virtually no oversight of the company's work to support the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq in March 2003.

Under an agreement for logistical support for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), a Halliburton subsidiary, has received $4.5 billion for activities in Iraq and Kuwait since the invasion, including more than $3 billion to import fuel and repair oil fields. The full contract may eventually be worth as much as $18 billion.

In testimony submitted to members of Congress, one truck driver explained in detail how taxpayers were billed for empty trucks driven up and down Iraq and how $85,000 vehicles were abandoned for lack of spare tires. A labor foreman said dozens of workers were told to "look busy" while doing virtually no work for salaries of $80,000 a year. An auditor related how the company was spending an average of $100 for every single bag of laundry and $10,000 a month for company employees to stay in five-star hotels.

Cost plus contract in Iraq, what a waste!

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