Army's largest contractor in Iraq under renewed attack

Kellogg Brown & Root, the Army's largest contractor in Iraq and frequent target of critics for its alleged wasteful management of a $31.7 billion logistics contract, came under renewed fire Monday from a special bipartisan oversight panel and the Pentagon's top auditor of defense contracts.

In testimony before the Commission on Wartime Contracting, Defense Contract Audit Agency director April Stephenson said KBR, working under a wartime logistics services contract called LOGCAP III, continually failed to seek out and track cost-efficient subcontractors, costing taxpayers millions of dollars. It also became the focus of the "vast majority" of 32 cases that have been referred to prosecutors for possible fraud charges, she said.

Commissioner Linda Gustitus asked a group of military contracting officials why the Army continued to contract with KBR despite the firm's failure to overhaul monitoring of subcontractors that administer the vast majority of its war-zone services.

"The history of KBR is delay, delay, delay in fixing up these systems," Gustitus said. "How could you possibly assume that they were going to do what they said that they would do on these business systems, and go ahead and award them a contract?"

The critique came in the wake of a letter sent Friday to Defense Secretary Robert Gates by Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, who slammed "the Army's continued reliance on KBR's monopoly contract." The lawmakers said the Defense Department has failed to transition expeditiously to LOGCAP IV, a new incarnation of the wartime logistics contract that splits the workload between KBR and two other companies charged with providing dining, laundry, housing, and other services for military personnel on the battlefield. McCaskill and Collins, the chairman and acting ranking member of a new Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, charged that the Pentagon has failed to recover at least $100 million in overpayments to tainted KBR subcontractors.

During Monday's commission hearing, the panel's eight members -- including its newest member, former Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., -- expressed concern about the dearth of contract oversight officials in Iraq and Afghanistan, where hundreds of oversight positions remain vacant.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.