Black & Veatch’s latest trouble in Afghanistan comes with a federal audit, published in December, that determined that the company failed to provide an installation plan for millions of dollars in electrical equipment that sat unused for months in a warehouse near the city of Kandahar.
The U.S. Agency for International Development had awarded a $3.4 million contract to Black & Veatch in 2009 to provide technical assistance, training and support to the country’s national power utility. Afghanistan ranks among the countries with the lowest energy production in the world.
Over time, Black & Veatch’s contract with USAID was modified to focus on the commercialization of the national utility, and the original contract’s value nearly doubled, according to the audit by the State Department’s special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.
Neither Black & Veatch nor USAID could provide evidence to auditors that the contractor had completed most of the work required, including an installation plan for the meters. But USAID paid the company in full anyway, the audit said.
Auditors reported that without an installation plan, almost $12.8 million worth of transformers, poles, wires and other equipment purchased to upgrade Afghanistan’s antiquated electrical system had been sitting in storage since at least last March. They fretted that the manufacturer’s two-year warranty on 50,000 electrical meters might expire before they were installed.
TVNL Comment: How many hundreds of billions have been squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan with no accountability whatsoever? Just asking.....