Once again the New York Times has reared its anti-American head. Doesn’t their editorial board understand that now Al-Qaeda knows that the State Department has been using an accounting shell game to hide cost overruns and it failed in its legal obligations to inform Congress about schedule delays?
State Department hid costs of Iraqi projects: paper
Sun July 30, 12:45 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The State Department agency in charge
of $1.4 billion for reconstruction projects in Iraq used an accounting shell
game to hide cost overruns and failed to tell Congress about schedule delays, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
A report by the independent Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction said
the U.S. Agency for International Development listed project overruns as
overhead or administrative costs.
USAID is the agency is charge of administering foreign aid and
began working on Iraq reconstruction soon after the 2003 invasion
The inspector general’s report did not give details on all
projects being conducted under the $1.4 billion budget, but noted several
examples including a children’s hospital in Basra and a power station in
Bechtel, the contractor in charge of the Basra hospital, said in
April construction costs would be $98 million, up from an original budget of $50
million, due to escalating costs for security and other problems. USAID pledged
to cut contractor overhead, but the inspector general found no effort to do
In a report later that month to Congress, the agency reported
the cost as $50 million with the rest reclassified as “indirect
Bechtel also told USAID in March the project was 273 days behind
schedule, but in its April report the agency mentioned no delay problems to
Joseph A. Saloom, the newly appointed director of the
reconstruction office at the U.S. Embassy, said in a letter he would take steps to improve the reporting of the costs of reconstruction projects in Iraq.