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Parsons Under Fire

From NBC Investigative Reporter Lisa Myers' report on MSNBC, entitled "Did Iraq contractor fleece American taxpayers?" The answer is, well, I'll let you figure it out. (Also, appended at the bottom of her report is a statement from Parsons CEO Jim McNulty.)

WASHINGTON – New revelations have emerged about how tens of millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted in Iraq. A new report by government watchdogs singles out a big American contractor — Parsons — for shoddy work. Investigators charge that Parsons managed to turn a flagship project to help train Iraqi police into a hall of horrors using taxpayer money.

The Baghdad Police Academy was supposed to be a showcase to train Iraqi police — key to the U.S. strategy.

Yeah, and how did that work out?

nn_myers_fleece_070131300w.jpgInstead, Wednesday's report says the American construction company turned it into a disaster from the start: incomplete and substandard designs, shoddy construction and no real quality control.

"This is the worst project that my inspectors have visited," says Stuart Bowen, inspector general for Iraq.

Bowen says the Iraqis recently refused to take over the complex, calling the work disgusting. [emphasis added]

Oh.

Here's what Parsons delivered for taxpayers' $62 million:

  • Shoddily built brick walls.
  • Cracking concrete.
  • Exposed reinforced steel bars.
  • Buildings without enough power or with faulty electrical box wiring.
  • Plumbing so bad that when cadets used it, human waste rained through light fixtures and ceilings.

That sounds eerily familiar.

Let's take a trip down memory lane, shall we? All the way back to July 2006 when The Agonist's Sean-Paul Kelley provided us images of Parsons' great work for those 142 health centers.

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The number actually built was closer to twenty, though I believe later reports put it lower. 

In case you missed it, here is the video of from her January 31 report on Parsons from NBC Nightly News.

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