Image via Wikipedia… did not know Baghdad is in an quake zone, sorry!
“Seismic bracing is normally provided for the protection of fire lines and other critical mechanical systems in the event of an earthquake. We found no evidence that First Kuwaiti or its subcontractors considered seismic bracing in their analyses or designs. In addition, we found that First Kuwaiti did not provide seismic bracing for fire protection lines and mechanical or electrical equipment in those parts of the NEC facilities built by First Kuwaiti. The COR told us that she did not enforce the seismic bracing requirement because an OBO fire protection engineer told her that although bracing was required by code, it was “no big deal.” The COR also stated that she was unaware that Baghdad was in an earthquake zone.”
“As a result of construction deficiencies, incomplete and undocumented design work, additional maintenance charges attributable to inadequate quality control and commissioning procedures, and unrecovered liquidated damages and interest on unauthorized advance mobilization payments, we recommend that the Department of State attempt to recover more than $132 million from First Kuwaiti.”
- $4.6 million to repair safe areas, which are vital to protecting staff in emergency situations but which were not constructed according to contract specifications.
- $14 million to install seismic bracing, which is required for safeguarding fire protection lines and other critical mechanical systems that First Kuwaiti had not completed.
- $200,000 to correct deficiencies at the water treatment plant.
- $1.7 million to repair the NEC wall surfaces and concrete walkways that were improperly installed and are now subject to cracking.
- $200,000 to replace motor pool vehicle lifts that are not serviceable.
- $500,000 to repair the NEC’s power plant for inadequate air flow because changes to the configuration of the power plant were not supported by appropriate design work.
- $11 million in additional operating costs for the less efficient power plant equipment over its lifetime.
- $4.4 million to repair the NEC’s power distribution system because First Kuwaiti substituted a less reliable system, including using nonstandard wiring.
- $500,000 to complete and correct functions of the building automation system that is critical to monitor, measure, and optimize energy usage.
- $4.6 million to correct fire protection systems because the walls in the housing units were not compliant with code and fire protection water mains were improperly constructed.
- $1.5 million to correct plumbing deficiencies at over 200 locations at the NEC.
There are overseas posts with no lights in their hallways in an attempt to save money from an already pitiful budget already slashed down from prior years. There are people holding 2-3 jobs because there are not enough people and money to go around (that is, if you’re not in Baghdad, Kabul or Islamabad). Can you understand why one can get a tad cranky with a report like this?
What were they THINKING, really (sorry for using my uppercase voice) — but constructing that embassaurus of a building out there and blah, blah, blah? Well, it’s too late for any rants now, the folks who made this possible have mostly retired to their quarters with their Tivos. And the building is there to stay, a stark lamp post in history – or a bright one, depending on which memoir you read or what history book you stick your nose in.
Audit of the Design and Construction of the NEC Baghdad
OIG Report No. AUD/IQO-09-25| October 2009