Chambliss calls for action on Moody Housing - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Chambliss calls for action on Moody Housing

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December 13, 2007

Valdosta - Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss is criticizing the Air Force for it's lack of oversight on four military Family Housing projects, including one at Moody and says they need to quickly fix the problem.

Chambliss sent a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne.   The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas, Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, Bill Nelson, D-Florida, Mel Martinez, R-Florida, Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts and John Kerry, D-Massachusetts.

Worked has stopped at housing projects in all four states due to lack of payment to subcontractors.

The senators say they are now years behind schedule, and millions of dollars over-budget.  Senator Chambliss's office says the letter made the following conclusions.

1)         Either the Air Force did not have adequate mechanisms in place to monitor and ensure adequate performance by the parties to these transactions, or the mechanisms the Air Force relied upon were unsuccessful, or both.

2)         In theory, project owners and developers for the projects were accountable to bond-holders, trustee representatives, and third party consultants, but in practice, they were accountable to no one.

3)         The sole Air Force representative on site was not a Government employee but a contractor hired by the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment who had no authority and who was not responsible to anyone at the local military installation.

4)         The Air Force had no direct control of any financial payments to the developer, and any indirect control or leverage the Air Force may have had was either not exercised or ineffective.

5)         The amount of payment and performance bonds for all of these projects was substantially less than is standard in private sector construction and was not sufficient for subcontractors to recoup their expenses in the event of default.

They say the Air Force should take the blame for awarding the contracts to a questionable company, the Carabetta Group, and do everything in their power to get the sights back on schedule and all the debt finally paid-off.

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