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Fraud, KBR and Vanity Fair

by mel starrs on December 12, 2007

in Opinion, Theory and Comment

Recently found this article in Vanity Fair of all places.  The article exposes some of the alleged shocking over-expenditure by KBR in Iraq.  KBR, (#15 in ENR’s 2006 Top 150 Global Design Firms) formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root, have recently been shed by Halliburton.

There are so many things to be said here, but the point I most want to make, is do you know who you work for?  Are you happy with the choices they make and the contracts they are involved in?  I’m in the lucky position at the minute of having the time to assess who I work for next and what values I want to share with any future employer.  On the basis of this article (and other information), I won’t be approaching KBR.  Sustainability, at it’s most basic level, carries a responsibility to use resources (be they time, money or people) wisely.  This kind of behaviour is anything but sustainable:

KBR’s current military-support contract is known as the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, or logcap. This is the contract’s third incarnation, and, like its predecessors, logcap 3 is a “cost-plus” contract: whatever KBR spends, the government agrees to reimburse, with the addition of a fee of about 3 percent. The more the company spends, the more it makes, so it pays to be profligate. All the former employees I spoke to told of KBR’s over-ordering equipment such as computers, generators, and vehicles on an epic scale. Millions of dollars’ worth of equipment was left to rot in yards in the desert. logcap is also an “indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity” contract, which means that the Pentagon can go on commissioning whatever it wants from KBR whenever it wants. Instead of being subject to competitive bids, fresh items can be added to the contract at will: all officials have to do is issue a “task order.” These can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars—even billions, in the case of Task Order 59, which put KBR in charge of supporting the 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

I’d recommend reading the whole aneurysm inducing article.

  • http://www.intensewebmedia.com Cathy

    Hey Mel KBR has been getting all sorts of bad press lately. Have you seen the myraid news reports on the rape cover-ups of women working for them in Iraq? For example: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/…Happy travels.

  • http://www.intensewebmedia.com Cathy

    Hey Mel KBR has been getting all sorts of bad press lately. Have you seen the myraid news reports on the rape cover-ups of women working for them in Iraq? For example: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/…Happy travels.

  • Nick Devlin

    Hey there Mel, I remember questioning one of the Directors of Fulcrum's about this during a job interview a couple of years ago. They were, still are I assume, working with KBR on Z-Squared with Bioregional. There was a general unease as I understood it that most of the team felt uneasy about KBR's presence on the project and even then a certain embarrasment that I had made the link to Halliburton. As I see it, if there is no other route to get the expertise that you need to move the project forward, then we all might have to compromise some of our morals. But in this case I think KBR were undertaking the water/waste engineering for which there were undoubtably alternative practices. Interesting to see that we can all make mistakes.

  • Nick Devlin

    Hey there Mel, I remember questioning one of the Directors of Fulcrum's about this during a job interview a couple of years ago. They were, still are I assume, working with KBR on Z-Squared with Bioregional. There was a general unease as I understood it that most of the team felt uneasy about KBR's presence on the project and even then a certain embarrasment that I had made the link to Halliburton. As I see it, if there is no other route to get the expertise that you need to move the project forward, then we all might have to compromise some of our morals. But in this case I think KBR were undertaking the water/waste engineering for which there were undoubtably alternative practices. Interesting to see that we can all make mistakes.

  • http://www.mrlongdistance.com Karen

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  • http://www.mrlongdistance.com Karen

    Hello there, thanks for sharing stories about fraud. I would like to share my own experience. I received a fraud email:

    Sort of Email Phishing

    I’m so lucky I wasn’t victimized.