Tuesday, May 05, 2009

KBR Subject of Pentagon Fraud Investigations

A Pentagon auditor reported KBR is linked to the vast majority of war zone fraud investigations. It's also responsible for most of the $13 billion in unsupported or questionable costs. KBR's defense work grew from $55 million in 2001 to $5.7 billion in 2008.

One Commissioner on Wartime Contracting sat in the Pentagon for much of that time. Dov Zakheim. He was the Pentagon Chief Financial Officer from 2001-2004. His bio states:

Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer, 2001-2004.
Dr. Zakheim was the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense on financial and budgetary matters, developing and managing the world’s largest budgets, overseeing all aspects of the Department’s accounting and auditing systems, and negotiating five major defense agreements with U.S. allies and partners. He was DoD’s coordinator of civilian programs in Afghanistan from 2002-2004.
The Commission on Wartime Contracting has much work to do examining layers and layers of contractors, each with an ever increasing profit motive. Having insiders on the panel, especially those who made critical financial decisions, is odd.

He's a Vice President at Booz, Allen, Hamilton, a huge government services consulting firm. Dov Zakheim is "leader in the firm’s global defense business, working with U.S. Combatant Commanders and allied and coalition ministries of defense worldwide." Do corporations ever hire BAH for defense consulting? Their annual report indicates work on behalf of industry. Working both sides of defense contracting would place Dov in a unique position to steer government business. Corporations might pay big bucks for such influence.

Booz, Allen, Hamilton was acquired by the Carlyle Group in July 2008. Carlyle knows how to garner huge bucks from Uncle Sam. Did KBR hire Booz, Allen, Hamilton for consulting? Might Dov have done the work? Even if the answer is no, a conflict of interest already exists. Dov should be testifying as a witness, not providing oversight as the people's representative. George W. Bush had a habit of appointing people who would cover up for his friends.

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