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Army Corps Stands By Its Sweetheart Deal With DynCorp

Dyncorp building

Exterior Structural Failure, Building 603 (latrine), Kunduz Army Garrison, March 2012

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The Project On Government Oversight blogged last October about the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) finding many serious, long-running structural defects at the Afghan National Army garrison at Camp Pamir in northern Afghanistan (including the cracked latrine shown here). What particularly upset SIGAR about the bungled $73 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) construction project, however, was USACE’s rather lenient treatment of the project’s prime contractor, DynCorp International.

Under a December 2011 contract modification agreement, USACE allowed DynCorp to walk off the job without holding it accountable for the defects. Not only was DynCorp paid in full and released of all repair obligation, USACE also retroactively extended the contract duration date by 948 days (to make it appear that DynCorp had met contractual deadlines) and upgraded DynCorp’s unsatisfactory performance ratings.

On Tuesday, SIGAR posted a memorandum from USACE regarding the current state of affairs at Camp Pamir. First, USACE now estimates that repairing the structural failures at the garrison will cost taxpayers an additional $3.8 million. Second, USACE informed SIGAR that, after a thorough investigation, it has concluded that the DynCorp agreement “was proper and reasonable although it was not favorable to the government.” The memo explains:

Though the process followed was inconsistent with USACE policy, there was sufficient information for TAN [USACE Afghanistan Engineer District - North] leadership to believe that the final negotiated modification was the best course of action for the Kunduz project, and that the alternative of the disputes process would place the government at greater risk and cost.

USACE blamed itself for deficient construction oversight and contract enforcement, and the Afghan Army for occupying—and damaging—the facilities during construction. USACE assured SIGAR that it has implemented reforms to strengthen oversight and ensure that future supplemental contract agreements will be negotiated on more “favorable terms” for the government. (SIGAR determined that the agreement violated a provision of the Federal Acquisition Regulation requiring contract settlements above a certain dollar amount to be submitted for independent agency review before they are finalized.)

Late last year, SIGAR launched its own investigation of the DynCorp agreement. SIGAR’s probe is focusing on possible improprieties by personnel involved in the deal, leading POGO to wonder if there had been an excessive coziness between USACE contracting officials and DynCorp employees. After all, as we pointed out back in October, the revolving door between the Pentagon and DynCorp has been rapidly spinning in recent years.

Image from "Kunduz ANA Garrison: Army Corps of Engineers Released DynCorp of all Contractual Obligations Despite Poor Performance and Structural Failures," SIGAR Inspection – 13-1, October 2012.

By: Neil Gordon
Investigator, POGO

Neil Gordon, Investigator Neil Gordon is an investigator for the Project On Government Oversight. Neil investigates and maintains POGO's Federal Contractor Misconduct Database.

Topics: Contract Oversight

Related Content: Contractor Accountability, Federal Contractor Misconduct, Inspector General Oversight, Iraq & Afghanistan Reconstruction Contracts, SIGAR, Waste

Authors: Neil Gordon

Submitted by nabi at: June 8, 2013
i want to give contraction projects lees then 1 millions can you register me
Submitted by Khe_Sanh_vet at: April 9, 2013
Pretty depressing. You would almost want the CEO to walk point ... but you want someone competent up there.
Submitted by blkangel at: April 6, 2013
This is ridiculous, another example of our tax dollars being wasted. I have worked construction for over forty years and any contractor I know of would have had to make the repairs at their own expense for shoddy work. So does the federal government plan on having us pay for the repairs too?
Submitted by Jake at: April 6, 2013
Why have inspectors on the job, if you are just pay them anyway just to get them off the job. Has congressional oversight become so lax as to pay for shoddy work in spite of faulty workmanship.
Submitted by Jake at: April 6, 2013
who is DynCorp, location, Country/state and principles, The handling of this appears to be complicid and Fraud.
Submitted by Ray at: April 6, 2013
When I read these reports I always wonder what can we do about it. What actions can be taken to admonish the governmentfor these ubacceptable acts?
Submitted by Inside the Gov. at: April 6, 2013
Corruption at its Finest!
Submitted by Tigermac at: April 6, 2013
What a surprise the Army Corps of Engineers Released DynCorp of all Contractual Obligations Despite Poor Performance and Structural Failures," the same situation existed with Halliburton during the Iraq War and now our corrupt government is allowing the Pentagon to use our tax money as if it were their very own piggy bank to do with as they please. But on the other side of the coin, to make up for this and giving the Oil, gas and coal industries Billions of taxpayer dollars a long with the 83 Billion dollars in subsides going to the Banks and let us not forget the Billions the Military Contractors are stealing with cost over runs and using inferior construction. On the other hand the Obama administration is going to cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare to help make up for the corruption and total incompetence of our plutocratic government.
Submitted by YKTM at: April 6, 2013
We need to return to the days when Congress directed OSD to form an acquisition corps. Remember "Ill-Wind"? To whom are krs accountable? Other krs. All of these folks feed campaign chests. We had an acronym, FWA which translated as Frogs Without A(nal orifices). With krs writing changes to DFAR, writing industrial security policy, and performing work that is an inherent government responsibility, those little froggies are doin' good work.

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