Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Shipping And Handling Extra

NYTimes (10.24.06):
"A federal oversight agency said today that the cost of things like housing employees, processing paperwork and providing security has consumed as much as 55 percent of the entire budget for some reconstruction projects in Iraq, vastly reducing the amount of money available for actual construction. In fact, according to a report by the agency, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, those administrative and overhead costs, as they are known, may be claiming an even larger share of the money — but the government does not keep proper track of how the $18.4 billion of American taxpayer-financed reconstruction money approved by Congress two years ago is being spent." Overhead Costs Consume Budget for Iraq Reconstruction
So we've put $18.4 billion of our dough on the table, and our government isn't keeping "proper track" of how it's being spent. Isn't that something. "Administration and overhead costs rarely claim more than a few percent of the budget for comparable construction projects in the United States." "The inspector general found that overhead costs varied widely over a sampling of contracts in Iraq that auditors examined, with some companies spending less than 20 percent on overhead while others spent more than half the project’s budget that way. Who had the highest? Ha! "The highest overhead costs were found in the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts awarded to KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary formerly known as Kellogg, Brown and Root, for the reconstruction of oil facilities in Iraq."


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