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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. Read the remainder of this entry »
Almost one year and who knows how many revisions later KBR finally submits a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) the DCMA can accept. On September 11, 2008 the DCMA issued a Level III Corrective Action Request (CAR) # HQ-08-LOGCAP-001 LIII to KBR for their Deficient Quality Systems with regards to electrical maintenance and installations. (Click HERE to read that original post)
From the CAR:
a. This enclosure documents two overarching findings of nonconformance:
i. Grounding and Bonding: KBR’s quality system failed to properly identify and systematically correct facility grounding and bonding deficiencies…..
ii. Quality System: KBR’s Inspection/Quality Control System failed to identify and systemically correct numerous Program-wide deficiencies……
Click HERE to read Corrective Action Request (CAR) # HQ-08-LOGCAP-001 LII. Rumor has it this CAR actually started out as a Level IV. It was that serious. But in usually LOGCAP fashion, the DoD succumbed to pressures and lowered the level.
I do not have the final Corrective Action Plan as of yet. As soon as I get it I will post it. If you have it please email it to me.
This CAR was issued after the facts were revealed surrounding the true manner in which SSG Ryan Maseth died. He was electrocuted in his shower due to shoddy electrical work. Specifically improper grounding of the water pump in his building at Radwaniah Palace Complex.
Although the CAP for this CAR has been accepted, this does not mean business as usual for KBR. They have to consistently adhere to the conditions of the Corrective Action Plan (CAP). This Level III CAR and the CAP are a permanent DoD documents.
So…if you have that CAP please send it. If you have information about KBR violating this CAP, please let me know so I can pass it on. I’m sure I will be blogging more about this.
When the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) issued a Level III Corrective Action Request (CAR) to KBR on September 11, 2008 a rumor surfaced that this CAR had actually left Iraq as a Level IV and was then lowered to a Level III by DCMA in Washington DC. But there was no way for me to prove that.
The issuance of a Level IV CAR would have meant sure termination of KBR’s contract. As it should have been.
After the last hearing the Senate Democratic Policy Committee published KBR’s most recent Level III CAR on their website. I was alerted by a very observant reader to take a look at the footer in the attachments. Of the 48 attachments to this CAR, 40 of them have this in the footer:
Note the “LIV”. That means Level 4. This confirms to me that this CAR in fact did leave Iraq as a Level 4 and was downgraded by the DCMA in Washington. So now I must ask why? Why would the DCMA in Washington NOT take the recommendations of those with first hand knowledge of the issue? Those who investigated and wrote the CAR in Iraq?
- Would it draw attention to the complete and utter failure of the DCMA to oversee KBR’s contract?
- Did the DoD think that KBR could not be replaced?
- Was there some back room DoD deal that KBR could stay at all cost?
They are correct on the first point. The DCMA oversight of KBR has been a complete and utter failure from the beginning. But, they are completely wrong on the second point. KBR could have easily been replaced by a competent contractor. It was not necessary to replace every single KBR employee. Bring in new management, because that is the biggest problem. Replace every manager from the top down to the PM or Site Manger level and then go from there. You could sweeten the deal and entice managers with bonuses to ensure a smooth transition. For those who won’t cooperate, escort them out of the country in handcuffs! It might be a little confusing at first. But you would be money ahead in the long run. You would at least be making forward progress. Right now you are just throwing good money after bad. And on the third point, I’m thinking YES!
The DCMA in Washington should have paid a little more attention to detail when they downgraded the CAR and no one would have been the wiser. But, now we are and now we want to know why you are protecting KBR.
Updated May 24, 2009 8:24am PST: Click HERE to view CAR # HQ-08-LOGCAP-001 LIII Deficient Quality System – Level III Corrective Action Request, the CAR in question.