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I would have liked to ask some very specific people if they know what day this. But, due to the fact that Heather turned down my Facebook friend request, I find it highly unlikely she or the others would reply to an email. So, the answers to the following questions are my attempt to provide a humorous satirical response at their expense on this very important day.
KBR’s spokeswoman, Heather Browne…do you know what day this is? “Yes….it’s time for a leg, eyebrow and bikini wax! My New Year’s resolution is to have an ‘unwavering commitment’ to myself for a change!”
KBR’s President of the G&I segment, Bill Bodie…do you know what day this is? “Yep! It’s former PTL minister Jim Bakker’s birthday? Maybe I should write an editorial for that supporting his fraudulent wrong doing!”
KBR law firm K&L Gates ….do you know what day this is? “It’s a Saturday and billable at a much hirer rate…can you repeat the question please…..very slowly this time.”
That’s what I thought. It’s just another day at the office…or the spa. Whatever the case may be! Although KBR is locked in legal battle and enduring very negative press on this issue, I still seriously doubt any of you remembered this is the 2nd anniversary of the death of a son, a brother, a friend, a US Soldier. Read the remainder of this entry »
I have to say Jim Childs testimony just blew KBR out of the water. Straight to the point, no sugar coating! Some of my favorite quotes from Jim’s testimony are below.
KBR did not do this work to any electrical code. KBR now claims to have used the British code BS7671 as its code, not the NEC. If you were to use the BS 7671 standards, there would be even more KBR code violations. Army inspectors interviewed KBR workers at the time of inspections. Almost all stated they were working to meet the NEC. They did not even know the British code and had never received any training related to the British code.
KBR’s claim that they were working to the British Standard at anytime prior to the most recent Level III CAR is complete BS (and that “BS” doesn’t stand for British Standard). For the two years I worked for KBR, one year as an electrician and one year in the maintenance office I NEVER heard the term “British Standard”.
Roughly 60 percent of KBR’s electrical workers were Third Country Nationals (TCNs),many of whom had no electrical training.
Why is it that the Americans and Brits have to have an electrical license and the other 1000’s of Third Country Nationals no not. If KBR is claiming there is a low ratio of KBR electrician to TCN, that is not always the case. I have had as many as 10 or more Filipino workers. There is just no way to watch the installations of that many workers. Then there is the language barrier.
KBR’s method would add huge additional costs to their cost-plus contract and, more importantly, would add significant work time which would, in turn, delay the date by which their facilities are made safe for our soldiers.
Our government had to force KBR to use the fastest and most cost efficient bonding method and KBR continues to fight these requirements to this day. In my opinion, this is because KBR does not want to admit that it is easy to properly install the cables, which they had not done, and correct the non-code compliant installations.
This is just self explanatory. It’s all about the money! Hmmmm
KBR needs to stop taking a “lawyerly” approach toward these inspections and requirements. The company needs to do what is right, cost effective, meets the code, and protects our soldiers’ lives. We still haven’t been able to get them to do the bonding work, even though it is easy. I think they are avoiding this work because bonding was one of the electrical defects that led to the electrocution of Ryan Maseth.
I love that word “lawyerly”!! Just how many lawyers does KBR have in theater? I believe bonding and grounding deficiencies are also the cause of death for SSG Chris Everett and Navy Petty Officer David Cedergren.
To read Jim Child’s entire testimony click HERE.
To see the entire hearing video, read all testimony and other supporting documents, click HERE.
KUDOS to Jim Childs and Eric Peters for their honest “no holds barred” testimony. After all these years I still am stunned at some of the things I hear.
There were so many “jaw dropping” moments during the hearing testimony it’s hard to zero in on one thing. But right now I want to talk about Eric Peters testimony. Here is a quote from his testimony that I find particularly disturbing.
Any refusal to sign off on electrical paperwork is frowned upon by the KBR management. At Al Asad Airbase, I was asked to sign off on paperwork that was incomplete. The person who had performed the initial work had not completed all of the steps necessary to ensure safe operation and installation. The electrician did not review the loop impedance by testing the entire circuit to ensure there was no fault in the grounding or reverse polarity. My KBR manager assured me that the work would be completed at a later date. But I did not believe them and I did not sign it.
Signing work off as complete or correct when it is not is called “pencil whipping”. It is fraud and I have blogged about this before. This is a common complaint among electricians in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan who are involved with the Bonding & Grounding work. People are asked, told, threatened, intimidated, harassed (pick one) to sign off on work they do not feel comfortable signing off on. Such as work they didn’t actually perform, work that is clearly incomplete, or work that is not done correctly. People who refuse to “pencil whip” are usually labeled as a problem and are “dealt with” accordingly. They are removed from the Bonding & Grounding work, they are transferred, sent home, or the electrician just quits. How many licensed electricians have been hired since August 2008 and how many of those have quit or been fired? 50%….60% If you are one of these electricians email me.
If an electrician did actually go back to finish the work at a later date, the company would have been able to charge the DoD again for work that should have already been done during the initial testing and inspection. Plus the DoD would be getting reports showing completed inspections, so DoD would believe the buildings are safe. Talking with electricians from other sites, this has become a common practice for KBR.
This is indicative of a management culture completely out of control. And, as far as I’m concerned, this is fraud on so many levels. I’ve been told on several occasions that Service Orders (SOR) or Work Requests are generated to repair the work that was signed off as complete initially but actually wasn’t. So KBR gets to maintain the manpower levels because they have all these outstanding Service Orders and Work Requests to do work that should have already been done in the first place. Well that is just stinks.
Where is the DCMA in all this? Where is the DCAA? Where is the CID? THIS IS FRAUD! How about a damn Corrective Action Request (CAR) on this!!! It’s time to ask the electricians at each camp if this is going on. I believe the majority of them will tell you the truth. I truly believe that most people want to do a good job and do the right thing. And given the opportunity, the tools, the material and adequate management I think they will.
I would love to hear from more electricians who were recently employed by KBR in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait who quit because they were not allowed to do their job or were told to “pencil whip” paperwork. This is your chance to tell your story. Leave a comment. For those still in country…..if the DoD asks you if this is going on, tell them the truth.
Click HERE for Eric Peters testimony.
Click HERE to go to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee page to watch to hearing video and read all testimony.
Updated 05/21/2009 @ 10:47 PST: Here are my two blog posts from back in February where I talked about this very issue with “pencil whipping”.
KBR Just Doesn’t Get It-Electrical Inspections Published February 16, 2009
Message to KBR Electricians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait Published February 5, 2009
The DCMA and KBR can not tell me they did not know this was going on.
There were a whole lot of “I don’t knows” going on yesterday July 30, 2008. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform conducted a hearing on “Deficient Electrical Systems at U.S. Facilities In Iraq”. The following people testified before the committee.
- U.S. Senator Bob Casey, (D-PA)
- Gordon S. Heddell, Acting Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense
- Don Horstman, Deputy Inspector General for Policy and Oversight, U.S. Department of Defense
- Charlie E. Williams, Jr., Director, Defense Contract Management Agency
- Keith Ernst, Former Director, Defense Contract Management Agency
- Jeffrey P. Parsons, Executive Director, Army Contracting Command, U.S. Army
- Tom Bruni, Theater Engineering and Construction Manager, KBR, Inc.
I spent most of last night watching the Hearing video and going over the supporting documents. All I can say is…..what the hell??? There is so much material I can’t possibly put it all my my website. Do yourself a favor and go to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform website and if you do nothing more…..download the video… and watch it. You will be rewarded for your patience when at the end of the video…Tom Bruni, Theater Engineering and Construction Manager for KBR, Inc. blames the Army. I hope I didn’t ruin the movie for you. Click HERE for video. (I have to find a new video link this one no longer works) Read the remainder of this entry »
I have been listening to and reading the news about this hearing. I know the news media can only print so much, but they are leaving out many important details. So I am posting the testimony of each person that testified. I want to make sure you know the truth about what was said before the rumors start. If you have any questions feel free to email me. When and if a final transcript is available, I will post that as well.
All witnesses were asked to be at the Dirksen Senate Office Building at 9am on Friday. When I got there the hearing room was relatively empty and non threatening, similar to an empty court room. At 9am the witnesses were ushered into a conference room and briefed by DPC staff members.
The witnesses for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) Hearing “Contractor Misconduct and the Electrocution Deaths of American Soldiers in Iraq” are: Read the remainder of this entry »