Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Follow the Parsons Corp Money Train

Meet Earnest O. Robbins II. He is a former Air Force Major General. He was appointed as Vice-President of the infrastructure and technology group of Parsons Corp. Robbins was placed of a $75 million contract to build a police academy in Baghdad. He ended up building (literally) a house of shit.

In a report released yesterday, inspectors found that the Baghdad Police College posed a health risk after feces and urine leaked through the ceilings of student barracks. The facility, part of which will need to be demolished, also featured floors that heaved inches off the ground and a room where water dripped so heavily that it was known as "the rain forest."

The academy was intended as a showcase for U.S. efforts to train Iraqi recruits who eventually are expected to take control of the nation's security from the U.S. military. But lawmakers said yesterday they feared it will become a symbol of a different sort.

Robbins is paid on a cost-plus contract. Meaning the more tax dollars he can suck out of the federal government for Parsons the more he makes. Congressman Chris Van Hollen posed this question to Parsons about his shitty contract work. Will Parsons Corp reinsurse the government?

Van Hollen is mumbling, "and say, given what has happened in this project . . . "

"No, sir, I will not," you snap.

". . . 'We will return the profits.' . . ."

"No, sir, I will not," you repeat.

Van Hollen said, "It just shows the contempt they have for us, for the taxpayer, for everything."

Parsons Corp only completed 20 of the 142 health centers they were contracted to build in Iraq. The government ran out of money to continue funding the project. The original contract was for $200 million. Their contracts with the Pentagon totaled $4 billion.

Maj. Gen. William H. McCoy Jr., commander of the corps' Gulf Region Division, said that the "loss of business for Parsons in Iraq may not be over [as] a broad review of Parsons' work in Iraq had turned up problems in sector after sector. According to news releases on the Parsons Web site, the company has received contracts worth as much as $4 billion in Iraq ... for building and refurbishing scores of police stations, border forts, fire stations, courthouses, prisons and Iraqi government buildings. 'We found overruns in almost every case,' General McCoy said.

Under the Bush administration, private contractors view the federal government as a free ATM machine. They take money out and never have to put any in.

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