$3.6m TV trucks still under tarps in Kabul
KABUL (Pajhwok): The State Department is funding a contractor $3.6 million for three mobile television trucks that cost a lot more than expected and were delivered two years behind schedule, a US federal watchdog said on Friday.
In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, SIGAR John Sopko said the trucks were meant for Afghan television networks for live coverage of sporting events such as soccer and cricket. But the vehicles remain unused under tarpaulins in Kabul.
The trucks were priced at id="mce_marker"57,300 each, but their price tags shot up to $568,062 per vehicle. “Something is seriously wrong with the way this contract was managed,” Sopko wrote, urging cancellation of the contract forthwith.
Apparently, he added, these television trucks were delivered more than two years late. The price of two of the trucks allegedly more than tripled. The primary use of the vehicles was for live sporting events, such as buzkashi, soccer and cricket.
But the contract was amended on September 16, 2013, to only 3 trucks at a cost of $3.6 million. The contractor received unspecified compensation for costs incurred under the original deal, the official pointed out.
Of the three trucks that arrived in Afghanistan about July 18, 2014, one was damaged in transit. The trucks were still covered by shipping material as of September 2014. None has been has yet been placed into service.
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