25 Dec

Parsons loses contract on Iraq building project

first_imgLast week, Parsons received yet another government contract – a five-year, $15million deal from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command to provide master planning for Navy and Marine Corps facilities in much of the world. In 2004, the Army Corps of Engineers awarded Parsons a two-year contract to rebuild military bases, fire stations, prisons and other government structures in Iraq. The potential value of the contract was as much as $900million. That same year, the Department of Defense tapped the company to be part of a group to design or revamp more than 1,000 buildings in a deal worth as much as $500million. Bowen said Parsons’ police academy project in Baghdad was bedeviled by poor construction and inferior plumbing materials. Since then, the Iraqi subcontractor that did the work has undertaken repairs at no cost to the U.S. or Iraqi governments, Kuhlman said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES – For years, Parsons Corp. has profited from a steady stream of U.S. government contracts for everything from disposing of hazardous weapons material to rebuilding hospitals, highways and other big-ticket infrastructure. Led by a retired Army colonel, the low-profile engineering giant has remained under the radar of most public-interest groups and oversight bodies to become a key player in the reconstruction of Iraq, with contracts worth about $2billion. But shoddy work recently prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to cancel its $75million contract to renovate a critical police training academy in Baghdad. Parsons also lost deals to build a prison and dozens of medical clinics in that country after the government cited missed deadlines and cost problems. Parsons said it has done the best work possible under the conditions in Iraq, where its reliance on subcontractors fearful of attacks has led to the delays and cost overruns. Despite the problems, the government has little choice about funneling lucrative contracts to Parsons and a small cadre of other companies, said Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, a watchdog group. “Regardless of how many there are or are not, the government doesn’t do a good job of overseeing these projects,” Schatz said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Along with Pasadena-based Parsons, companies that enjoy the lion’s share of the big government contracts include Bechtel Corp. of San Francisco, Aliso Viejo-based Fluor Corp., and Houston-based oil services contractor Halliburton Co. Parsons spokeswoman Erin Kuhlman said revenue climbed from $2.5billion in 2003 to $3billion in 2005 and now has about 11,600 employees and carries no corporate debt. Parsons’ chairman and CEO is James McNulty, 64, a retired Army colonel who joined the company in 1988.Its problems in Iraq have drawn the attention of Stuart M. Bowen, special inspector general for reconstruction, who plans to review all the projects awarded to Parsons. The botched renovation of the academy was another sign that reconstruction efforts are failing in Iraq, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said during a recent hearing of the House Government Reform Committee.”This is the lens through which the Iraqis will now see America. Incompetence. Profiteering. Arrogance,” he said. “Parsons has exerted its best efforts to satisfy the requirements and expectations of the U.S. government,” said Earnie Robbins, a senior vice president at the division managing Iraq projects. “While no one can be pleased with the way some projects concluded, there are indeed many successes to be counted.” last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *