A defense contractor hired to repair combat equipment routinely failed to do the job right and then charged the government millions of dollars for the extra work needed to get the gear ready for battle in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a newly released audit.
Overall, the contractor’s employees at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait worked about 188,000 additional hours to fix Humvees, heavy transporters and fighting vehicles that allegedly were mended but flunked a military inspection, the Government Accountability Office said.
The GAO estimates the Army paid $4.2 million for the additional labor. Under the terms of the $581 million contract, the company is to be paid for all maintenance hours worked. That includes “labor hours associated with maintenance performed after the Army rejects equipment that fails to meet Army maintenance standards,” said the GAO, which is the investigative arm of Congress.
The contractor is not named in the GAO audit. The contract number is, however. The Federal Procurement Data System, a Web site that tracks government contracts, shows ITT Federal Services International of Colorado Springs, Colo., as the company performing the work.
In one case, a semitrailer used for hauling massive M-1 tanks was fixed and submitted to the Army as ready for return to the field. It failed inspection. After that, the contractor charged the government for 636 hours of repair work before it passed inspection more than three months later.
In another instance, a Bradley Fighting Vehicle failed inspection after a cotter pin in the brake assembly was found to be missing and could have left the heavy vehicle with no way to stop.