Baghdad barracks still has problems
More than a year after an American contractor promised Congress that it would fix the plumbing and construction in barracks the company built at the Baghdad police academy, the ceilings are still stained with excrement, parts of the structures are crumbling and sections of the buildings are unusable because the toilets are filthy and nonfunctioning, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
The Parsons Corporation project, where United States inspectors found giant cracks in new walls and human waste dripping from ceilings, became one of the most visible examples of a $45 billion American reconstruction program.
The project also became an argument for the value of government oversight when, in response to the inspectors’ findings, a Parsons executive told Congress in September 2006 that the company would fix the problems at no cost to the United States. Parsons now says that it did so, directing an Iraqi subcontractor to correct deficiencies at no additional charge, the Times wrote.
But according to the Times, Iraqi police recruits, instructors and officers at the Parsons-built barracks and classrooms on Sunday complained bitterly about the buildings’ condition, calling the contractor negligent.
The structures were refurbished or built from scratch at a cost of $72 million.