Thursday, August 30, 2007

"The first, about Bechtel, illustrates just how nicely these firms have done. Of Bechtel’s 24 sewage, water treatment and electricity projects, only 11, as Sigir puts it, have ‘clearly met their original objectives’. Sigir discovered that, despite this, Bechtel has been quick to submit its invoices, amounting to some $1.3 billion, and that they have been paid promptly by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Baghdad, within the ten days stipulated in Bechtel’s contract. ‘It appeared,’ the Sigir report continues, that USAID ‘did not perform a detailed analysis of the costs being incurred because of the limited time available for review’. Sigir also says that Bechtel charged more than 40 per cent of the contract value as ‘support costs’, and claimed $250 million in ‘a large miscellaneous category’ under the heading ‘Other’." (thanks Laleh)