Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Do your job, get fired, courtesy of KBR
The NY Times has the straight skinny on what happens when you mess with a military contractor, even when you are a 30 year employee of the military. In this case it was a matter of approving $1 Billion in expenses for which KBR could not provide any legitimate justification.
The official, Charles M. Smith, was the senior civilian overseeing the multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the first two years of the war. Speaking out for the first time, Mr. Smith said that he was forced from his job in 2004 after informing KBR officials that the Army would impose escalating financial penalties if they failed to improve their chaotic Iraqi operations.Poor guy forgot he was working for Republicans. Neither honesty nor competence will cut any ice with them.
Army auditors had determined that KBR lacked credible data or records for more than $1 billion in spending, so Mr. Smith refused to sign off on the payments to the company. “They had a gigantic amount of costs they couldn’t justify,” he said in an interview. “Ultimately, the money that was going to KBR was money being taken away from the troops, and I wasn’t going to do that.”
But he was suddenly replaced, he said, and his successors — after taking the unusual step of hiring an outside contractor to consider KBR’s claims — approved most of the payments he had tried to block.
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