Taken to the cleaners: U.S. picks up coalition’s $700 million laundry, food, base support tab

Military failed to pass along bills to other countries in Afghanistan

continued from page 1

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

Col. Crichton said the command has since “implemented a proactive, collaborative process” to address the findings. She also said command recouped about $40 million in fiscal 2014.

“USFOR-A continues building an enduring legacy of transparent stewardship and oversight through a proactive and aggressive approach to accomplish the mission in a manner that is fiscally responsible and flexible, in accordance with the very fluid operational environment of Afghanistan,” she wrote.

Fluor officials declined to comment, but a spokeswoman for DynCorp said the company took steps in 2012 to track the data. The company also said DynCorp was never contacted to participate in the review.

“Contrary to assumptions made in the audit report, the Letter of Technical Direction (LOTD) and Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL) containing reporting requirements, details, timeline and the official notice to proceed in providing data, were received on 30 September 2012,” spokeswoman Ashley Burke wrote.

“Once the LOTD and CDRL were received, DynCorp International began gathering the requested data immediately and the first monthly report was submitted in October 2012,” she wrote.

Ms. Burke referred additional questions to the Army.

The company’s timeline is at slight odds with the Army Audit Agency, which reported that it wasn’t until three months later, in December 2012, when DynCorp submitted its first report.

“Our review showed that the contractors (Fluor and DynCorp) were not providing the data and that no government representatives were enforcing performance by the contractors,” Army auditors wrote in their report to commanders last summer.

“The [Logistics Civil Augmentation Program] contractor didn’t — in accordance with contract requirements — track, maintain, and report cost date for each coalition partner.”

Outsourcing

Nearly every aspect of military life relies on contract companies, which provide food, fuel and laundry, medical supplies, repair shops and garbage disposal, transportation, housing and a host of other services to deployed troops. In 2010, contract employees outnumbered even U.S. troops in Afghanistan by 112,000 to 94,000, according to a Government Accountability Office estimate.

Despite troop drawdowns, those costs continue. As Afghans held a presidential election last week, 33,500 U.S. troops remained along with 17,676 troops from dozens of other countries, according to the International Security Assistance Force figures.

The Army’s decades-old, multibillion-dollar military outsourcing program provides base support for these deployed troops. At one point in 2011, under the current contract known as LOGCAP IV, DynCorp and Fluor supported more than 130 bases in Afghanistan, records show.

The previous contract, LOGCAP III, went to KBR, which won it in a competitive bid in 2001. Critics complained that the company continued to win task orders worth tens of billions of dollars for another decade without competition.

By 2011, the U.S. had paid out more than $36 billion to KBR under LOGCAP III, according to the Wartime Contracting Commission, which said the lack of competition led to questionable billing.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks