Thursday, May 24, 2007

Navy Sank Millions in Waste into Boat Barriers

After al Qaeda blew a hole in USS Cole -- killing 17 Sailors back in 2000 -- the Navy wanted a plan to prevent it from ever happening again.

The job fell to NCIS -- the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. But their solution has cost taxpayers millions in waste.

They cooked up the idea of giant, floating rubber barriers -- each the size of an 18-wheeler.

The Washington Post got hold of government documents that show millions going to companies that never did any work -- barriers that leaked, deflated, and simply didn't work --

The Post details an elaborate plan to avoid competitive bidding that involved contractors hiring subcontractors and driving prices for each barrier from $31,000 -- to nearly $43,000 each.

NCIS wanted the barriers quickly. That's why they didn't want to deal with complex competitive bidding rules. In the end, auditors found the plan drove up prices by as much as 40% for some support equipment like radar systems. (WaPo)

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