Friday, August 10, 2007

Can We Leave Now ? ? ? ?

As background, there is hope and anticipation in our area about a new "international" airport being built on land donated by a huge local developer. This will be "the saviour of the real estate and tourist industry" for decades to come. Possibly, but we have our doubts.

To give you an idea of how uninformed and unaware of world events the people in our part of Florida are, the following should give you some indication:


KBR has history of fraud
August 5, 2007

Company has signed $9-million contract for airport project

By Tony Bridges News Herald Writer

The company hired to oversee construction of the new International Airport has a history of mismanaging government contracts that goes back at least 10 years and includes allegations of overbilling and fraud.

Houston-based KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton,
is a global construction and logistics company used by the Pentagon in operations from the Balkans to the Middle East. Since the beginning of the Iraq War, the company has been paid more than $20 billion in taxpayer money to feed, house and support American troops there.


While the company’s domestic airport projects appear to have drawn no criticism, military and civilian auditors repeatedly have turned up problems with KBR’s performance overseas, and have complained about the company’s efforts to stymie government oversight.


KBR last week signed a $9 million contract to supervise and inspect the work of companies building the new airport, a project expected to cost about $330 million. Airport officials said they did not know about KBR’s troubles and focused on its track record with airport and municipal projects.

“We did go through a rather extensive selection process and review,” said Airport Authority Executive Director Randy Curtis. “We were not aware of KBR being subject to any investigations.”


And later in the article, when referencing billing and accounting issues:

As far as public funds are concerned, the contract requires KBR to make recommendations to the airport authority on construction progress payments, but KBR will not be handling the payments themselves, Curtis said.

And, the contract also requires KBR to keep careful records of billing and expenses, which will be available for inspection by the airport. Curtis said airport officials will be watching those records.

“All of us take our responsibility to oversee this project very seriously,” he said.


Yeah, probably as seriously as you researched the company before you awarded the contract, huh?


Can we leave now ? ? ? ?


2 comments:

Gazetteer said...

Yes....

But, what of our very own fine Public Utilities Commission that allowed the sale of our pipelines to Enron/Kinder Morgan without so much as a public hearing despite the fact that they received more requests for said hearing than ever before.

OK?

.

West End Bound said...

Yeah, Ross, I know. But isn't everything perfect in Canada?? :)

I had actually written a letter to the Vancouver Sun editor, re: Kinder Morgan buying the pipeline up there and what a BAD idea it was. Guess no one listened to me, eh?? What's the latest on the Burnaby spill clean-up and who is to blame, anyway?