Inhofe and Reed: Air Force, Balfour Beatty Must Address Allegations of Fraud in Military Housing Program
Senate Armed Services Committee chairman and ranking member Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) today released the following statement in response to a report from Reuters alleging the Balfour Beatty Communities falsified maintenance records in order to receive performance bonuses at additional military installations:
“This is not the first time allegations have been raised that Balfour Beatty has used fraudulent work order practices at Air Force bases. This isn’t even the second time. It is the third time—and it is completely unacceptable and disturbing. How much more should we ask military families to endure? We urge the Air Force and appropriate federal law enforcement agencies to investigate this fully so we can truly understand what is going on and how pervasive this problem is. If the Air Force substantiates allegations that Balfour Beatty perpetrated widespread, illegal fraud, the Air Force must take every action appropriate to hold Balfour Beatty accountable and recoup every last dollar stolen from the taxpayers.
“What makes this even worse is that these charges come as Balfour Beatty is dealing with other, extensive problems with the military housing they manage, like mold, poor construction, and chemical exposure. We have put Balfour Beatty on notice: 90 days to come up with a comprehensive plan to deal with all of these serious problems with no additional cost to the taxpayer. We’re waiting. If Balfour Beatty isn’t able to clean up its act and do right by our service members and their families, we’ll find someone who is.
“In the immediate future, our focus lies with getting a cogent response from Balfour Beatty, completing this investigation into allegations of illegal activity and most importantly, fixing housing for our troops and their families through legislation like the National Defense Authorization Act or, if necessary, as a standalone bill. The Senate Armed Services Committee, through additional hearings and oversight, will also continue to work the Department of Defense and military services to keep tabs on their progress.
“As we dig into all the issues plaguing our housing projects, any time we find fraud, waste and abuse, the Department of Defense and military services must do everything within their power to make the American taxpayer whole and take care of our soldiers, airmen, marines and seamen and their families.
“We want to say to military families, thank you for coming forward to make us aware of your housing issues. We promise you, we are going to fix these problems because it’s the right thing to do. Thank you for your bravery and for not being afraid to speak truth to power. We also want to thank the members of the media for highlighting these stories. Without them, we might never have known about the full breadth of problems facing military housing.”