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Comments by YACCS
Sunday, April 30, 2006

150=20 in Iraq

U.S. Pays for 150 Iraqi Clinics, and Manages to Build 20

Published: April 30, 2006

A $243 million program led by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to build 150 health care clinics in Iraq has in some cases produced little more than empty shells of crumbling concrete and shattered bricks cemented together into uneven walls, two reports by a federal oversight office have found.

The reports, released yesterday, detail a close inspection of five of the clinics in the northern city of Kirkuk as well as a sweeping audit of the entire program, which began in March 2004 as a heavily promoted effort to improve health care for ordinary Iraqis. The reports say that none of the five clinics in Kirkuk and only 20 of the original 150 across the country will be completed without new financing.

Written by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent office, the reports cite a wide range of factors, including disputes among Iraqi construction companies and problems with local materials, that have contributed to the program's failures. The American company Parsons, the prime contractor for the work, also comes in for stiff criticism.

But the reports' main finding is that lax oversight by the Army corps is responsible for the failure of the overall program. Cowed by security fears that the reports suggest may have been overblown, the corps sometimes inspected the work only through what it called "windshield surveys" — hasty drive-bys.

Poor cost accounting and a rapid turnover of United States government personnel in Iraq also contributed to the problems, the reports say

You cannot build where you will be killed. Uh, they kill french fry suppliers, running around checking on sites is asking to get killed.

posted by Steve @ 2:51:00 AM

2:51:00 AM

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