McCaskill, Collins question why Army Corps paid for an 'unusable' Afghan facility

On Tuesday, Collins and McCaskill wrote a letter to Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, commanding general and chief of engineers for the Army Corps, demanding answers about waste and mismanagement of contractor DynCorp International for faulty construction of an Afghan Army garrison. 

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"Many questions are raised by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to let Dyncorp off the hook for poor performance in a settlement agreement made in connection with contracts to construct a garrison for the Afghan National Army," Collins said in a statement Tuesday. "The Corps of Engineers has been unable to provide a justification, despite repeated requests from Congress and the Special [Inspector General] for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).”

The senators asked Bostick to justify a recent decision to pay DynCorp a $70.8 million settlement, nearly the full price of the contract.

“We are writing to request information regarding the recent decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to pay the contractor DynCorp International LLC (DynCorp) more than $70 million, under contracts worth $72.8 million, despite severe defects with the contractor's work,” the letter stated.

In the letter, the senators cite IG reports that some of the structures built by DynCorp "failed" and were "unsafe, uninhabitable or unusable." Collins said the settlement for such structures proves taxpayer dollars are being wasted because of a lack of oversight.

“The IG audit on the construction of this garrison documented a number of failures,” Collins said. “Such failures undermine our national security objective in Afghanistan to train and support the Afghan National Army. This settlement agreement appears to be yet another inexcusable failure of oversight that undermines the overall mission in Afghanistan and wastes taxpayer dollars."

In the letter, McCaskill and Collins also question if the USACE settlement decision violated federal regulations, which require settlements of more than $100,000 to be submitted to an audit agency for review.

The senators asked that Bostick answer their questions by Dec. 3 and that a briefing to their committee staffs be delivered by Dec. 7.