Saturday, November 10, 2007

Update on the Baghdad police academy

Last year there was a, pardon the expression, $hitstorm about the
Heralded Iraq Police Academy a 'Disaster'

BAGHDAD, Sept. 27 -- A $75 million project to build the largest police academy in Iraq has been so grossly mismanaged that the campus now poses health risks to recruits and might need to be partially demolished, U.S. investigators have found.

The Baghdad Police College, hailed as crucial to U.S. efforts to prepare Iraqis to take control of the country's security, was so poorly constructed that feces and urine rained from the ceilings in student barracks. Floors heaved inches off the ground and cracked apart. Water dripped so profusely in one room that it was dubbed "the rain forest."

"This is the most essential civil security project in the country -- and it's a failure," said Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an independent office created by Congress. "The Baghdad police academy is a disaster."
And now, over a year later, after all the promises made by Parsons, nothing has changed:
Iraqi Police Academy Remains Largely Unusable

BAGHDAD, Nov. 5 — More than a year after the Parsons Corporation, the American contracting giant, promised Congress that it would fix the disastrous plumbing and shoddy construction in barracks the company built at the Baghdad police academy, the ceilings are still stained with excrement, parts of the structures are crumbling and sections of the buildings are unusable because the toilets are filthy and nonfunctioning.
They used bad pipes for the sewage system,” said an officer who gave his name as Lt. Selah, a maintenance adviser, as he pointed through a ruptured drop-ceiling that had been ruined by waste leaking from faulty pipes above it.

The concrete used in the construction was substandard and is already collapsing in places because of the constant rain of sewage, Lieutenant Selah said, barely able to contain his anger.
A company spokeswoman, Erin Kuhlman, said that Parsons, which is based in Pasadena, Calif., had strictly abided by the terms of the contract it had received from the United States Army Corps of Engineers to do the work at the academy.
But dire problems with the project were discovered in inspections in August and September 2006 by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent agency led by Stuart W. Bowen Jr.
Mr. Bowen’s report also stated that inspectors had found “indications of potential fraud” in the project and had referred the case to its investigative division.

Those indications are apparently still being studied.

On Sept. 28, 2006, as the inspector general’s report was released, Earnest O. Robbins II, a senior vice president at Parsons, testified before the House Government Reform Committee that the company would fix the problems at no extra charge. “We are repairing it at no cost to the government,” Mr. Robbins said in response to questions by Representative Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland.
Bastards. Lying bastards.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak