Monday, November 07, 2005
Quick! Somebody Run Out And Accuse George Galloway Of Something!
A friend of mine forwarded me the following information:
For the first time since the Iraq war, an international auditing board has called for the US to refund the Iraq government because a Halliburton subsidiary overcharged for reconstruction work. The UN's International Advisory and Monitoring Board for Iraq called for a refund yesterday based on a previously undisclosed Defense Department audit which questioned $208,491,382 in charges by Halliburton's Kellogg, Brown, and Root. The Defense Contract Audit Agency concluded that KBR's "proposals as submitted were not acceptable for negotiation of a fair and reasonable price; (2) supporting data for subcontract costs were not always adequate; and (3) proposals were not prepared in all respects in accordance with" accpeted standards. This was first reported in today's New York Times. The claims of KBR's overcharging are not new, but this is the first call for a refund by an international auditing board. In a statement released yesterday, IAMB said it was too early to determine exactly how much the US should refund, but recommended that "amounts disbursed to contractors that cannot be supported as fair be reimbursed expeditiously." The board has no enforcement power; it can only suggest. (Full statement: http://www.iamb.info/pr/pr110405.htm) The DCAA audit was disclosed in a separate audit by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen, a former White House deputy who last week became the first sitting inspector general to formally criticize prewar construction planning. But Bowen’s own audit, sponsored by the UN board, found that KBR’s no-bid contract was awarded properly. ADDITIONAL AUDITS RELEASED: The IAMB also released audits on all no-bid contracts as well as regular audits on Iraqi ministries. IAMB said the no-bid contract audit revealed “insufficient documentation to justify non-competitive contracting action.” And the IAMB said the regular audits “continue to contain numerous exceptions to administrative and accounting procedures.” Examples from the additional audits: - $34 million paid to import wheat flour that never arrived - $40 million missing from the Finance Ministry fund to print new Iraqi bills - $561 million of Iraqi oil traded for Syrian electricity and oil parts instead of for cash for the Compensation Fund - Bribes (called “non-refundable fees”) in the tens of thousands of dollars paid to obtain documents and in the awarding of contracts - Contracts awarded unfairly or without bidding (All the audits can be found at http://www.iamb.info/spaudit.htm and http://www.iamb.info/dfiaudit.htm)
More blogs about politics.