Administration Hides Iraq Cost Overruns From Congress
[Restored from Google Cache]
More deception from the Bush administration:
The State Department agency in charge of $1.4 billion in reconstruction money bq. 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.
"Released late Friday" for obvious reasons. Let's hope the networks still view government fraud as newsworthy come Monday.
One of the contractors responsible the cost overruns is well connected to the Bush administration: Bechtel.
American and Iraqi officials reported this week that the State Department planned to drop Bechtel, its contractor on that project, as signs of budget and scheduling problems began to surface. ...
The hospital's construction budget was $50 million. By April of this year, Bechtel had told the aid agency that because of escalating costs for security and other problems, the project would actually cost $98 million to complete. But in an official report to Congress that month, the agency "was reporting the hospital project cost as $50 million," the inspector general wrote in his report. ...
"We find the entire agreement unclear," the inspector general wrote of the A.I.D. request approved by the embassy. "The document states that hospital project cost increases would be offset by reducing contractor overhead allocated to the project, but project reports for the period show no effort to reduce overhead."
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