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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Further in the financial hole...

It is no surprise that the costs of reconstruction in Iraq are turning out to be more than anticipated. Though apparently things are worse than they even appeared! According to an independent auditor that reports to Congress, the people in charge of reconstruction have been cooking the books. They have been reporting that projects are within the budget while classifying any overrun as "indirect costs" which aren't fully reported to Congress. One of my favorite lines is:

The hospital’s construction budget was $50 million. By April of this year, Bechtel had told the aid agency that because of escalating costs for security and other problems, the project would actually cost $98 million to complete. But in an official report to Congress that month, the agency “was reporting the hospital project cost as $50 million,” the inspector general wrote in his report.

The project was actually reported as being on time when it was close to 300 days behind schedule. And the Bush Administration claims it is the liberal media that only reports the bad news.