US: Afghan company botched police station work

WASHINGTON — An Afghan-owned company bungled the construction of police stations in Afghanistan so badly that the buildings are at risk of collapse, undermining US-led efforts to reinforce the country's security forces, a US government watchdog says.
In a report to be released Wednesday, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction found the company, Basirat Construction Firm, cut corners with low-quality concrete, substandard roofing, uninsulated windows, and plastic plumbing.
The six police stations were built in Helmand and Kandahar provinces in the country's violent south, where the international coalition and Afghan security forces are trying to wrest control of the region from the Taliban.
The report also faults the US Army Corps of Engineers for failing to oversee the work properly, while still paying Basirat close to $5 million — more than 90 percent of the contract value.
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