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Audits Find US Contractor Wasted Millions in Iraq


Two U.S. government audits to be released Monday say millions of dollars may have been wasted on projects in Iraq awarded to a California company.

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) says nearly 43 percent of the $333 million the U.S. government has paid Parsons Delaware Incorporated went to projects that have been terminated or canceled.

The audits found Parsons completed only 18 of 53 prisons, border posts, courts and other facilities it was contracted to design and build in Iraq. The contract was one of 12 awarded by the U.S. Army in 2004 to restore Iraq's infrastructure.

Parsons had argued that the U.S. government misrepresented security conditions in Iraq and that the company's sub-contractors faced almost daily threats that shut down or slowed work.

But Special Inspector General for Iraq Stuart Bowen said Parsons is the worst performing contractor identified among the seven firms studied so far.

Bowen's office said the company should have had 50 to 60 contracting officers and specialists working on its contract, but that Parsons had only employed 10.

One of the largest projects - the Khan Bani Sa'ad prison in Diyala Province - was turned over half-finished to the Iraqi government, which has no plans to use it.

The congressionally-mandated Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction is charged with finding waste, fraud and abuse in U.S. spending on Iraq.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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