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Inspectors Slam Army, Contractor for Shoddy Afghan Base

DynCorp was paid $73 million for base plagued with issues, contractor says problems started after it completed work

Paul D. Shinkman – (US News) – December 13, 2012 – The government office tasked with monitoring U.S. efforts to rebuild Afghanistan claims the U.S. Army lost tens of millions of dollars supposed to be used to re-construct an Afghan Army base that remains in disrepair.

The Office of the Special Inspector for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has opened an investigation into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its $73 million contract with DynCorp International to build an Afghan National Army base at Camp Pamir in the northern Kunduz Province.

DynCorp was paid in full and released from the contract, SIGAR says, though the base is plagued with structural failures and a crumbling foundation. This investigation stems from an October report outlining the issues.

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DynCorp Let Off Hook by U.S. for Poor Work, Audit Finds

Severe soil settling has caused this guardhouse to lean and its surrounding walls to crack. SIGAR has recently identified significant soil stability issues at the construction site of the Kunduz ANA garrison. (SIGAR photo)

Tony Capaccio – (Bloomberg) – October 25, 2012 – The Army Corps of Engineers freed DynCorp International Inc., one of the largest U.S. contractors in Afghanistan, of responsibility for construction at an Afghan Army garrison even though long-standing deficiencies remain, according to an inspector general’s report.

In a 2010 audit, Pentagon inspectors identified failings at the camp in northern Afghanistan that included “poor site grading” and “serious soil stability issues.” Inspectors returned in March of this year to find “additional structural failures, improper grading and new sinkholes,” the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said in an audit issued today.

DynCorp, a unit of New York-based Cerberus Capital Management LP, oversaw the construction at Camp Pamir in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province. The DynCorp project was part of a U.S. effort to train and house the Afghan Army, which is growing this year to 195,000 personnel.

“Despite the unsatisfactory performance of the contractor, DynCorp,” officials from the Army Corps’s District North region in Afghanistan “released DynCorp from further contractual liability,” John Sopko, the inspector general, wrote in today’s report. The company was paid $70.8 million on the contracts, “releasing it from any further liabilities and warranty obligations.”

DynCorp’s Comment

“We absolutely disagree with several of the report’s conclusions concerning the causes for the issues experienced at this site,” Ashley Burke, a DynCorp spokeswoman, said today in an e-mail. “Further, work was completed and this contract was closed out last year so we are unable to comment on 2012 site conditions that may or may not exist today.”

DynCorp turned over responsibility for the site in 2011, and the current occupants have been accountable for maintenance and care of the facilities since then, Burke said.

Other contractors were doing additional construction and grading work by the time inspectors returned, she said. The company was still reviewing the report, which it didn’t see in advance of its release, Burke said.

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