Aug 13, 2007

POGO Aims Higher

Watchdogs rank Bechtel among worst fed contractors

By Dave Wedge, Boston Herald Chief Enterprise Reporter
Thursday, August 9, 2007


While Big Dig general contractor Bechtel Parsons/Brinkerhoff has mostly avoided responsibility for woes on the oft-criticized $15 billion project, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group has tabbed the company as one of the top violators among federal government contractors.
According to a July 18 report by the Project on Government Oversight, Bechtel has more than $4 billion in federal government contracts and has had 10 “instances of misconduct” since 1995, resulting in $1.9 million in fines and damages.
The incidents cited by POGO involve discrimination settlements, asbestos violations, hazardous waste and radioactive materials laws, nuclear-safety violations and other environmental infractions.
The report also refers to a National Transportation Safety Board report that partly blamed the fatal 2006 Big Dig collapse on mistakes made by Bechtel.
Bechtel ranked 14th out of the nation’s top 50 firms on POGO’s Federal Contractor Misconduct Database. The top offender was Lockheed Martin, which had 40 incidents of misconduct resulting in $288 million in damages.
In one instance cited by POGO, Bechtel was slapped with a $162,000 fine in Hanford, Wash., after workers at a plutonium plant were found mishandling hazardous material. The company also was hit with a $330,000 fine that was later reduced to $198,000 at a Hanford water treatment plant for shoddy inspections and other violations.
In 1998, the company was fined $90,000 by New Hampshire environmental officials for violating wetlands laws during construction of a natural-gas pipeline.
A Bechtel spokesman said the instances represent “less than 1/20th of 1 percent of our total government contracts since 1995,” and that the company “stands behind that record.”
dwedge@bostonherald.com

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who cares anymore. This blog has become nothing but a means to tear down the lab. It's quickly losing all credibility. This coming from a former avid reader.

Anonymous said...

Pinky and Gussie, do you two actually still work at LANL? If so, then why haven't you left by now? What is your real agenda?

Pinky and The Brain said...

To try to takeover the world!
The Brain

Anonymous said...

Hey! And here all this time I thought that was UC/Bechtel's agenda!?

Anonymous said...

Adios, 10:34. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Anonymous said...

It had credibility to begin with?

Anonymous said...

Weren't these the two contractors that bid on LLNL and the lesser of two evils won. Gee I can see that they're in for some fun.Oh well, it's all over now. All that's left is to do your "time" and make plans for the future. Maybe it's time to spend more time thinking about retirement than production.I guess NNSA got what they wanted.

Anonymous said...

I have to laugh that Bechtel won the LANL contract, right around the time they lost the contract to manage NTS. How hard is it to manage a bunch of 20+ year old dents in the ground, with the occasional experiment here and there?

Anonymous said...

"Watchdogs rank Bechtel among worst fed contractors"

Well, someone should feed them better!