Reconstruction failures in Iraq

Financial review criticises one of the largest contractors working on reconstruction projects in Iraq.

Construction efforts in Iraq face considerable security difficulties.
Construction efforts in Iraq face considerable security difficulties.

A financial review carried out in July into one of the largest contractors working on reconstruction projects in Iraq has been critical of the company's work in the war torn country.

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) completed a focused financial review into the work performed by US construction giant Bechtel under its US $1.3 billion contract funded by the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund.

SIGIR discovered that Bechtel successfully completed less than half of the work it was contracted to carry out. Of 24 projects, only 11 clearly met their original objectives, 10 failed to meet objectives and the auditors were unable to determine the original objectives of three jobs.

 

The report said: "Overall, the Phase II contract accomplished a substantial amount of work that contributed to the reconstruction of Iraq, particularly in the electricity and water and sanitation sectors. However, the results on individual projects were mixed: some were completed as originally envisioned, others were cancelled, and still others were partially completed and were transferred to other organisations for completion."

Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq described the Bechtel audit as "emblematic of the many challenges faced by contractors in the Iraq reconstruction programme, including insufficient oversight, descoping, project cancellations, cost overunns, and significant delays in completing projects."

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