This weekend only, get a Marketplace zip–up hoodie when you donate $8/month. Don’t wait — this offer ends at midnight Sunday!
KAI RYSSDAL: Democrats in Congress are calling for new investigations. They want a closer look at some military contracts in Iraq. As it happens, the Pentagon’s just cancelled a huge rebuilding contract. Marketplace’s Lisa Napoli has the details.
LT. COL. STAN HEATH:“Quite frankly it was the contractors’ inability to complete the project within cost limitations. . . . And the contractor’s abandonment of the project is what lead to the termination.”
Weeks ago, the Army Corps canceled another $300 million in Iraqi contracts with Parsons to build hospitals and clinics. CorpWatch executive director Pratap Chatterjee visited Parsons worksites in Iraq in April. He says the problem is bigger than just one contractor.
PRATAP CHATTERJEE:“This is one example in a litany of disasters in reconstruction.”
Chatterjee says he isn’t sure who’s at fault:
CHATTERJEE:“You have to ask yourself whether the company has either completely mismanaged the money, or whether the US Army Corps and US AID are properly managing the company itself.”
Alex Knott of the Center for Public Integrity says the government’s waging a lose-lose battle:
ALEX KNOTT: They need these contracts fulfilled so they can be successful in Iraq. But at the same time, since it is a war zone, you have very few companies that are, first, able to do it and then, secondly, willing to do that.
Lt. Colonel Heath of the Army Corps ducked the issue of blame. And Parsons refused comment. But a spokeswoman for the company told the New York Times Parsons had met the government’s contract terms.
In Los Angeles, I’m Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.