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After $3.4 million spent, still no plumbing, electricty

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Courtesy SIGAR

A multi-million dollar U.S.-funded construction project to build a teacher training facility in Afghanistan remains years behind schedule and marred by shoddy construction work and dangerous conditions, a government watchdog has found.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction detailed the findings in a report released Wednesday after inspecting a teacher training facility built in the northern Afghan city of Sheberghan.

Calling the U.S.-funded project an example of broken promises and unfulfilled results, the IG found contract close out files reflect the fact work was finished, even though a host of electrical problems and other issues remained unresolved.

What’s more, aside from a lack of plumbing, the windows came from a company in Iran, a barred purchase under federal procurement rules.

The IG called for the Army Corps of Engineers to provide an explanation on why officials released contractor Mercury Construction, an Iraqi company, from liability when so many problems remained.

Mercury was awarded a $2.9 million contract, though the payout increased to $3.4 million after 9 modifications. Over the span of the contract, which began in February 2009, the Army Corps sent the company 62 letters regarding performance issues before the contractor “walked away from the project with unfinished work,” according to the IG’s inspection report.

In a response to the report, the Army Corps said it planned to conduct a review of the circumstances of the contract closeout.

You can read the full report and agency response here.

Comments

  1. roy Says:
    July 18th, 2013 at 7:53 am

    What a shame spending this much money on projects in a country that hates us while infrastructure and just about everything else in this country is falling apart. A select few politicans and contractors are really taking America for a ride.

  2. freeman Says:
    July 18th, 2013 at 9:48 am

    So while congress does nothing about the furloughs and Sec. Hagel only now realizes he should cut Hq staff by 20% where is the sense of outrage and action on their part about spending and wasting multi millions on buildings/infrastructure in Afghanistan that will never be occupied or used. How many furlough days would have been averted had DOD itself had not been so reckless and irresponsible with tax payers dollars. I’m sure there are many other examples we haven’t heard about yet which will also represent millions of more dollars. Instead of holding symbolic votes on Obama care congress should spend their time finding out why this wasteful spending happened and of course who should be held accountable. Perhaps another form of financial oversight should be in place since the Special IG should have identified the problem and acted sooner, however DOD was blind and Congress’s ineptness created these problems but obviously are incapable of solving it therefore they should be replaced in 2014 and 2016.

  3. Mike Z. Says:
    July 18th, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Where were the Army Corps “boots on the ground” for this project? Letters to a Afgan contractor .. a real threat. Who is the responsible party to insure that the construction is on time and done correctly? The U.S. government, and that’s where the fault lies

  4. Diane Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Nothing strange government as usual bet they will blame one employee.

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