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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-21-10 07:20 AM
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Firm gets new federal contract despite overbilling probe
Firm gets new federal contract despite overbilling probe
By Marisa Taylor | McClatchy Newspapers
Posted on Monday, September 20, 2010

WASHINGTON Ignoring calls to scrutinize troubled contractors, the U.S. military has awarded a portion of a $490 million contract to an American corporation that's under investigation for possible fraud.

The Army Corps of Engineers awarded the contract to Louis Berger Group, a New Jersey-based company that federal prosecutors have acknowledged is being investigated for allegedly overbilling the U.S. government.

The contract will be shared with Cummins Power Generation and is for providing generators, building power plants and installing high-voltage transmission systems in "conflict and disaster response locations worldwide," according to a news release posted last week on Louis Berger's website.

The decision to continue doing business with Louis Berger has fueled criticism that the Obama administration is willing to overlook criminal allegations in its zeal to rebuild Afghanistan and Iraq. Louis Berger is handling some of the most important U.S. projects in Afghanistan, and it and Cummins also have a seven-year contract with the Army to provide emergency power operations and maintenance in Iraq.


The overbilling allegations arise from a 2006 whistleblower lawsuit that accused Louis Berger of manipulating overhead cost data and overhead rate proposals submitted to the U.S. government and several states, including Massachusetts, Nevada and Virginia, McClatchy reported Sunday.
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