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Inspections mandatory for all DoD facilities

Posted March 22, 2011 By Ms Sparky

WASHINGTON (CN) – March 21, 2011 – Defense Department facilities, infrastructure and equipment provided by private military contractors such as KBR, DynCorp, and Fluor Corporation, overseas, are to be inspected for safety and habitability, under rules adopted under the National Defense Authorization Act.

According to the rules, prior to use, the facilities should be “brought into compliance with generally accepted standards for the safety and health of personnel to the maximum extent practicable consistent with the requirements of military operations and the best interests of the agency.”

Contracts will require compliance with the Unified Facilities Criteria 1-200-01 to meet generally accepted standards for fire protection, structural integrity, electrical systems, plumbing, water treatment, waste disposal, and telecommunications networks.

The rules apply to each contract, including task or delivery orders, entered into for the construction, installation, repair, maintenance, or operation of facilities, infrastructure, and equipment for use by Defense Department military or civilian personnel.

The rules were effective in 2010, in temporary form, and have now been adopted permanently.

Click HERE for original article and click HERE to read this regulation.

3 years ago today, 24 year old  entered the shower in his Special Forces living quarters at the Radwaniyah Palace Complex in Baghdad, Iraq and he died. He was electrocuted do to an improperly installed water pump on the roof of his building.

The Army initially reported that Ryan, a decorated Green Beret foolishly took an electrical appliance into the shower and that was the reason for his death.

The Criminal Investigations Command (CID) closed Ryan’s investigation on June 11, 2008 proclaiming Ryan’s manner of death was “accidental”. His mother, refused to accept this as the cause of death for her son. Read the remainder of this entry »

David Isenberg: DCMA and Contractor Oversight

Posted April 14, 2010 By Ms Sparky

David IsenbergHuffington Post
Author, Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq (Praeger Security International)
Posted: April 14, 2010 11:41 AM

Let us start out by acknowledging that most federal government auditors and contracting officers charged with doing oversight on private contractors have a difficult job. As has been documented for years they are overburdened and until recently, under resourced. I am sure most of them try to do an enormously difficult job as professionally and competently as they can.

That said, they can only be as good as the agency they work for. When we think of private contractors working for the U.S. military that means places like the Defense Contract Auditing Agency and the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) . DCMA is the DOD Component that works directly with Defense suppliers to help ensure that DOD, Federal, and allied Government supplies and services are delivered on time, at projected cost, and meet all performance requirements. Read the remainder of this entry »

American Chronicle – Congressional Desk
February 26, 2010

Former Task Force SAFE Electrical Subject Matter Expert James Childs testifies before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee about the shoddy electrical work performed by KBR. Cheryl Harris, SSG Ryan Maseth's mother, sheds a tear as she listens to why her son was electrocuted and died in his shower in Baghdad on January 2, 2008.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), who chaired Senate hearings on electrocutions of soldiers in Iraq resulting from shoddy contracting work by KBR, said Thursday the Army´s decision to deny million of dollars in bonuses to the firm for its 2008 work in Iraq “is the right call, but it is only a first step.”

Dorgan chaired two Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) hearings in 2008 and 2009 on KBR´s shoddy electrical work in Iraq. The hearings revealed widespread problems with KBR´s electrical work there including countless electrical shocks including one that killed Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, and perhaps others, and injured dozens more on their own bases as they showered and engaged in other routine activities.

Following the hearings, Dorgan and Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) wrote the Army asking that it review KBR´s work and the electrocution death of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth. They also asked the Army to re-evaluate the millions of dollars in bonuses it has routinely awarded KBR for supposedly excellent work, even when the Army´s own evidence made clear it was highly questionable.

The Army´s investigation of Maseth´s January 2008 death found that KBR´s work exposed soldiers to “unacceptable risk.” A theatre-wide safety review that resulted from the Dorgan-Casey request — Task Force SAFE — also found widespread problems with KBR´s electrical work that exposed soldiers to life threatening risks. Read the remainder of this entry »

They didn’t just lose $25M….they got ZERO! This is a classic example of how one person can make a difference. I do believe KBR underestimated Cheryl Harris’ tenacity. I applaud you Cheryl!

Contractor linked to Iraq death loses $25M in fees

By KIMBERLY HEFLING
Associated Press Writer
Feb 24, 10:42 PM EST

Cheryl Harris with her son Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth. Ryan, 24, was electrocuted in his shower in Iraq on Jan. 2, 2008. Cheryl has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against KBR. That suit is currently sitting in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals awaiting a decision.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Military contractor KBR has lost about $25 million in bonuses from the government because of “failed” worked done in Iraq during the time a Green Beret was electrocuted in a barracks shower it was responsible for maintaining.

The U.S. Army Sustainment Command said in a statement released to The Associated Press Wednesday night that the Houston-based company failed to meet a level deserving of an award fee payment for work it did during the first four months of 2008. Award fees are written into contracts as an incentive for the contractors to do quality work.

The Army statement did not specifically mention the January 2008 death of 24-year-old Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth of Pittsburgh in the statement but said a task force that has extensively reviewed electrical work in Iraq was consulted in making the decision as was the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, which investigated Maseth’s death, but did not press charges against KBR.

Dan Carlson, a spokesman for the Army Sustainment Command, said in an e-mail that “multiple factors” led to the decision. Read the remainder of this entry »