By NEIL GORDON
On Thursday, the government’s Afghanistan reconstruction watchdog released a report showing that the U.S. military has failed to address serious construction deficiencies at an Afghan Army garrison that have persisted for more than two years. The report also criticized the military’s handling of the construction contractor, DynCorp International, which was released of its obligation to repair the deficiencies.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) paid DynCorp almost $71 million to oversee construction of the garrison, Camp Pamir, in Kunduz Province on Afghanistan’s northern border. In April 2010, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported that the facilities at Camp Pamir were at risk of structural failure because of poor site grading and serious soil stability issues. During a follow-up inspection this year, SIGAR found that USACE had failed to address the soil stability problem, and identified additional structural failures (one of which is pictured above), improper grading, and new sink holes.
Perhaps the most troubling finding is that, despite DynCorp’s unsatisfactory performance, USACE released the contractor in December 2011 under a settlement that absolved DynCorp of responsibility for fixing the structural defects. Not only was DynCorp paid in full and released from all existing or future warranty obligations, USACE also retroactively extended the contract duration date by 948 days (to make it appear that DynCorp had met contractual deadlines) and changed DynCorp’s unsatisfactory performance ratings to satisfactory.