Defense Cover-Up Management Agency (DCMA) – Part 2
This is Part 2 in a series of original articles to be published on MsSparky.com by former DCMA QAR Keven L. Barnes discussing his personal experiences with the oversight of KBR’s LOGCAP III contract. Defense Cover-Up Management Agency (DCMA) – Part 1 can be read HERE.
The next Statement of Procedure (SOP) I was to turn my attention to was the Water. The concern about the water in the Green Zone was elevated after laundry operations went down for 17 days because the laundry machines became contaminated with diesel fuel. In addition, I had several complaints from military personnel that their showers “smelled like diesel fuel”. I heard that same complaint nearly every week. I told our DCMA commanders about these concerns and they laughed it off. No action was taken to locate the cause of the fuel smell by either Col Miles or his replacement, U.S. Army Col McQuain.
The State Department and US Embassy personnel became very upset about the laundry being shut down (no dry cleaning services) and I was told to find out the cause. Now I have have clients of the LOGCAP contract informing me their shower smells like diesel fuel and the laundry goes down for 17 days because of fuel contamination. I felt the next logical step was to perform an inspection of the KBR Water Operations to assess their compliance with the Statement of Procedure. I informed KBR of the impending Water Operations inspection and gave them a week to prepare. To that date, KBR’s Water Operations in the Green Zone had never been inspected by DCMA. I questioned on a daily basis what the previous DCMA Quality Assurance Representative (QAR) were doing? The Statement of Procedure for Water Operations stated the requirements for super chlorinating, daily inspections and logbooks. I was to find that none of these requirements were being adequately performed, if at all.
Based upon the Water Operations SOP-01M and the checklists I was given by veteran DCMA Quality Assurance Representative (QAR), Randy Sanders and Kelli Sipple, I initiated the first ever Water Operations inspection n the Green Zone which resulted in KBR receiving their first ever Corrective Action Request (CAR) on their Water Operations in the Green Zone.
Captain Robin David of DCMA and I witnessed what we thought were water trucks pulling in to deliver water at the water point located between the Republican Palace and the Tigris River inside the Green Zone. As we moved aside, a KBR employee was explaining what was happening at that the drivers would be dragging hoses from the trucks to the three (3) 98,000 gallon drinking water tanks to deliver drinking water. To every one’s amazement, even the KBR employee, the drivers actually drug the hoses to a storm drain and began dumping raw sewage from these drinking water trucks. In addition this drain dumped directly into the Tigres River. We witnessed and documented with photos that the KBR subcontractor water trucks (side of the truck says Drink Water which would indicate a potable water truck) were clearly placarded by KBR as SST (Sewage Transport) under Task Order 100.
The Statement of Procedure Water Operations SOP-01M was very clear what KBR’s requirements were regarding safe water operations. KBR was required to maintain accurate logbooks documenting chlorine levels, pH levels and all other aspects of water operations. This is all required to prevent people from being exposed to deadly diseased, bacteria and other pathogens found in untreated sewer contaminated water.
I asked for the chlorination settings of the water being deposited into the water tanks. There were none. I asked if KBR was “super chlorinating” the tanks every week as required by the SOP. The answer was “No”.
I asked KBR for their daily logbooks. I was told there were no logbooks and they had no other records of anything. In essence, to every question on the inspection checklist was “NO”.
I was stunned to learn that:
- KBR failed to keep a log of each water delivery as required.
- KBR failed to set the chlorination level for each water truck before delivering.
- KBR failed to provide the chlorine needed to sanitize water
- KBR Failed to provide pH kits required to test water
- KBR failed to Super Clean each water truck once a week.
- KBR failed to monitor the water tanks to ensure a safe water supply.
- KBR failed to provided a Water Operations Management Team to oversee water operations before February 2005.
- KBR failed to inform the users of the water that is was NOT potable prior to February 2005.
Worse yet, the trucks that were hauling drinking water were also hauling sewage. I had no choice but to write my report up as a total failure on KBR’s part. You can read my final report HERE.