Recurring problems in Afghan construction, part 2On February 14, 2011, the federal Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan (Commission) held the second part of its hearing to examine the recurring problems in Afghan construction. At its previous session on January 24, the Commission heard testimony from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction and from witnesses representing federal departments that use construction contracts: the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment.
At the February hearing, the witnesses were senior executives from construction contractors in Afghanistan. They were: Mr. William Van Dyke, President, B&V Special Projects Corp, Black and Veatch; Mr. Michael E. McKelvy, President, Government, Environment & Nuclear Division, CH2M Hill; and Mr. Charles Mouzannar, Executive Vice President, AMEC Earth and Environmental, Inc. Also appearing was Mr. Bruce McCarron, Regional Director, UNOPS, a United Nations agency which acts as one of USAID’s implementing partner for Afghan construction.
After nine years, the United States has appropriated approximately $56.1 billion for the reconstruction in Afghanistan and billions more dollars are currently being spent. Construction projects include power plants, schools, hospitals and clinics, prisons, facilities for the Afghan National Army and Police, plus facilities for use by American and allied troops in the country.
After two fact-finding trips to Afghanistan, Commissioners held the hearing to investigate further into the projects they toured and questioned witnesses on host nation involvement in project selection, project cost and schedule challenges, private security usage, and sustainability of construction projects in Afghanistan.
The hearing began at 9:30 a.m. in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. Commission Co-Chair Christopher Shays presided.
Transcript: Feb 14, 2011 hearing transcriptOpening Statements