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The US Air Force lender has forged revenue records: Documents



Whittington said he knew the falsification of documents left families in jeopardy. As a retired Air Force veteran, he said he was disgusted with his actions, and after fighting his conscience and refusing to issue new orders to change records, he resigned

"They seem to operate at a bank on a corporate level," he said Whittington. "I got to the point where I woke up in the morning and wondered:" Well, how many people will I have to fuck today? "

Whittington's statements are backed up by numerous internal remarks to Balfour Beatty's employees. to instruct them how to get involved in the fraud. In 201

6 and 2017, Reuters documented at least 65 cases in which Balfour Beatty's officers validated their requests for correction, filed documents claiming forfeited waivers of response time, or closed unfinished maintenance requests. employees located in Tinker. For years, they told the Air Force about dubious storage of data and living conditions, like neighborhoods. However, their attempts to be held accountable to Balfour Beatty were blocked by the Civil Engineering Air Force Center or by AFCEC, based in San Antonio, Texas, which is tasked with monitoring the private landlords.

At least 18 times since 2015, Tinker-based Air Force officials have warned that Balfour Beatty's maintenance logs contain untrue data indicating that the company responds promptly to service requests, reports Air Force reports . "We do not believe that urgent, urgent and routine work orders are accurately recorded," says a periodic report on Balfour Beatty's performance.

A quarter after quarter, the Air Force Engineers Center downplayed these concerns by giving the company high-ranking service marks and advising Tinker's employees to withdraw their complaints. "It does not matter whether they were in line or not, they will still get paid," a local Tinker official wrote in February 2018 by post.

At the root of the failure to hold Tinker's owner's responsibility is a conflict in the Air Force. On one side was the Air Force Housing Office, whose primary mission was to assist the residents and Balfour Beatty's daily observation. On the other hand, AFCEC, responsible for the development and management of all the privatized housing projects of the Air Force. While AFCEC also has a supervisory role, it is also responsible for providing smooth, long-term relationships with landlords with whom it operates. Over the years, AFCEC has repeatedly been on the side of its partner, Balfour Beatty.

Presented by the evidence Reuters has found for years of fake messages, slow repairs and dangerous conditions in their homes, said Balfour Beatty. Tinker acted "improperly" without giving details. He described this as an isolated incident and said he was working with the Air Force to strengthen its maintenance system. The company does not comment on cases of fake records, internal notes, and other irregularities documented by Reuters before and after 2016 in Tinker and other bases.

Balfour Beatty said he had cooperated fully with Air Force investigations and other governments. agencies in their business. "As an organization, the BBC does not and does not approve the falsification of recordings in any way," the company said in a statement.

In December, Reuters reported widespread cases of dangerous construction sites and safety hazards in new residential units. , including Balfour Beatty, built on US bases. From this report, the Air Force says that he has withdrew charges from the company at Tinker while considering the issue.

In response to the company's new findings, John Henderson, assistant secretary of Air Force Installations, said in March that there were "real problems" with Balfour Beatty's performance at Tinker. He said, however, that he did not believe that housing companies had intentionally changed their maintenance data to earn incentives. He said there were "inconsistencies in the maintenance records" and that "the allegations of fraud" involving Tinker and at least two other company bases were referred to the Air Force Special Investigation Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2017 [19659011] We trust our private sector partners to act in good faith, "Henderson said. "When that does not happen, we must hold the responsible responsible for achieving better results to ensure that we continue to be worthy of gaining the trust of our aircraft and our nation."

The Air Force Special Investigation Service does not discuss investigations, said Linda Card, head of state affairs at the agency. But she added: "The talks are still taking place with the US Department of Justice about what roads (criminal or civil) – if any – can be prosecuted against Balfour Beatty."

"I woke up in the morning and wondered:" Well, how many people will I have to screw today? "

Despite the outcome of this study, the Air Force plans to increase transparency by creating an automated maintenance request process allows people to see the status of a work order, Henderson said, and plans to update the incentive charging system, with details still underway, to protect the Air Force Engineer's work by saying he has taken charges seriously but against Balfour Beatty and reviewed the Tinker company's work

The news of accounting contraventions by a major contractor comes as US MEPs are reviewing the Pentagon family's housing program The 2020 Defense Cost Bill , proposed by the Senate Armed Forces Committee, includes measures to prevent fraudulent work orders, Reuters team said, partly because of fears that millions of charges had been paid on the basis of counterfeit maintenance records.

families deserve high-quality housing throughout their service and this includes ethical and fair treatment by home providers, "said Oklahoma Republican President Jim Inhoffe

Incentives for Profit

Beginning in 1996, the military released the largest continuous corporate acquisition of US federal housing, the transfer of ownership of more than 200,000 family homes based on private property developers and property managers under 50-year contracts.

These lucrative contracts include bonuses or incentive charges that private owners can earn by fulfilling the targets set with the military. To receive the fees, real estate companies have to meet quarterly and annual goals, such as responding to local maintenance requests within a certain time. Charges are paid each quarter and typically cost up to 2% of the total rents of service families living on a base.

Balfour Beatty Communities, located in Malvern, Pennsylvania, runs the military housing unit of Balfour Beatty plc, a London-based infrastructure company with annual revenue of $ 10.7 billion. The company earns $ 33 million in annual profits from its military housing operations, said President Balfour Beatty's communities Chris Williams. The remuneration for these operations is worth about $ 800 million in the life of 50-year contracts for 43,000 homes per 55 air force, air force, and military bases across the country, Reuters estimates. Since then, according to Reuters, he has earned up to $ 2 million in stimulus fees.

Signs of irregular reports have appeared in other Balfour Beatty bases. In 2016, Air Force Air Force Staff at the Travis Californian Air Force Base used a second set of maintenance logs. In 2017, employees in the housing sector found that the company shut down maintenance requests before completing and classifying records incorrectly, show quarterly housing quality reports in the base. In the same year, officials at the Fairchild Air Base in Washington said Balfour Beatty had provided inaccurate maintenance data in his application for incentive charges.

The Air Force can not substantiate the claims of Travis and Fairchild. But he stopped paying Balfour Beatty in both bases at the end of last year, waiting for a review, and headed the incidents to the Air Force Investigation and the FBI.

However, the Air Force has never returned the incentive fees paid to Balfour Bitty, an Air Force spokesman. Nor does AFCEC audit the maintenance records of any other base managed by the company.

In Tinker, Reuters last year found half of nearly 400 new homes built by Balfour Beatty, leaking leaks, untreated waste water tanks, spoiled wood and heavy form.

Big leaks, two sets of books

Since the end of 2015, Balfour Beatty has been exceeded with requests for maintenance in both old and new homes. The roofs ran out, plastic plumbing burst, heating and air conditioning failed, said former Governor Whittington. In the same year, the company only registered 23 late work orders of 6000 jobs, showing internal work orders.

At the beginning of 2016, Whittington said the executives had cut down six to five base staff, as corporate headquarters in London required greater profits than their military housing projects. That left about 132 homes for each worker to cover, he said. Still, Balfour Beatty told the Air Force that he responded promptly to maintenance requests. , "It's funny that all property is always 100%" is handled in time, one BBC official notes in an email from 2016 to colleagues.

Then, in July 2016, during a casual conversation, the staff of Tinker's homes noticed a handwriting writing schedule for the maintenance of a Balfour Beatty commissioner's desk called Tina Brown.

Brown is responsible for making phone support requests and planning technicians to resolve them. From her first day, she told Reuters, she maintained an unofficial, handwritten set of maintenance diaries in addition to the official computerized records shared with the Air Force.

Manuscripts allowed Brown and other staff to achieve two. ends, according to Brown and other people familiar with the operation. They could accurately track the job so they eventually finish it, but without triggering the clock that began ticking after a job order was introduced into the official electronic system. Facility Manager Tim Heath instructed her to enter the work order in this way, according to Brown and Whittington. Heath did not return calls and text messages asking for a comment.

The requests were often entered into the official system by Brown on the day they were completed, not on the day they were called. In this way, the workers made sure that Balfour Beatty seemed to meet the response times set in the Air Force Agreement: 30 minutes for urgent request, 4 hours for emergency one and 24 hours for routine work. This cunning allowed the company to meet its task objectives: 24 hours for emergency and 2 business days for both urgent and routine tasks.

An example of 2016 shows how setup works. A page from Brown's unofficial handwritten records includes a request for work from a family of broken stoves from July 7, 2016. The official maintenance diary filmed in a photo from Brown's workstation shows that the family's request was not introduced by July 12 , 2016 – the day before the job is over. If the request was accurately registered, it would not meet the incentive requirements.

After finding a set of books about Brown's shadow, Tinker Air Force officials interviewed residents in the summer of 2016, and confirmed that Balfour Beatty was not asking, "These findings are very disappointing," one employee in a letter of July 2016 to colleagues.

Balfour Beatty later addressed the charge in an application for payment of an incentive fee. He told the Air Force that he had discovered "discrepancies in the Tinker data entry process," and quickly took action to make sure he did not repeat himself, according to the charge he had filed.

About two weeks earlier, Balfour Beatty had fired Brown. When she was accompanied by the office, according to people who had witnessed the scene, she shouted to her colleagues that she had been subject to fake books at the direction of his boss Heath. "I'm the wolves," said Brown.

In his statement, Balfour Beatty did not name Brown but said an employee had acted inappropriately.

Balfour Beatty's internal documents show that the company has issued broad guidelines to

This was the message in a 2013 directive on job orders sent by email to Balfour Beatty's employees. "You will change and" correct "these work orders to match the Response Time of 30 minutes – 1 hour, and the Goal of completing 24 working hours for emergency work orders," the memorandum says.

Another internal 2016 memo shares via emailed instructs staff to place maintenance requests in a red folder if "workload is excessive and can not be planned immediately."

Whittington said that Tinker had never had enough maintenance personnel to take care of 660 homes in the base. Throughout this time, Whittington says, corporate Phoenix employees urge him to close his maintenance requests so the company can get incentive charges.

"Again, this is becoming a stimulus bonus."

Whittington said he was forcing his staff to "invent the numbers." In an email of September 1, 2016, he ordered two employees to close 119 requests for support for four hours. "The goal is today to close all open job orders!", He writes.

Whittington said he was directed by Regional Director Rebecca Bailey and Vice President Raul Martinez. Bailey is no longer in the company; both she and Martinez refused to comment.

Asbestos Dangers

All these years, families lived with a number of dangers – raw backfill, parasite invasions and asbestos exposure.

All, except for a handful of 262 homes, have floorings containing asbestos. Balfour Beatty covers this material with floating floors or carpets for aesthetic purposes and asbestos cladding, a common and effective strategy to reduce emissions.

A large part of the new flooring is cheap and poorly installed, however, according to Balfour Beatty's work order. recordings. From 2012 to February 2019, McNarney's residents called for at least 350 maintenance requests, complaining about pavements, including dislocation, deformation and, according to a work order, "black things coming through the pavement."

In the case of Ippolitos, Balfour Beatty's Support Papers show that the company has moved the family home, knowing that the flooring is in a "bad" condition as recorded in a diary and that there is a risk of exposure to asbestos.

The company must hire a specialist to safely remove asbestos or seal it properly, said Nick Ippolito, who has worked for 12 years as a housing supervisor before joining the Navy. "But I suppose he's got too much money for them," he said. In 2018 the couple left the Navy

Balfour Beatty refused to discuss the cases of specific families. She said she was not aware of the widespread problems with flooring in McNary's homes.

"Exception" Policy

After Tina Brown was fired in mid-2016, Whittington said the company executives had made Balfour Beatty's employees at Tinker stop a second set of handwritten maintenance logs [19659054] The number of orders for work lags shrank sharply, from eight in the first half of 2016 to 377 in the second half, according to Reuters analysis of Tinker's work orders. The company has executed 12% of its support calls late, which would be too much to get full incentive fees.

Instead, Balfour Beatty, in his application for incentive charges for the third quarter of 2016, again reported star numbers, saying he had completed between 96% and 98% of support calls on time. Компанията търси 100% от таксите, за които е имала право, че тримесечие, $ 41 536.

Служители на Air Force жилища в Tinker изрази недоверие. "Имаме много оплаквания от жители на всяка категория, в които се посочва, че работните поръчки не са завършени в рамките на определен период от време", пише на друг външен изпълнител службата за жилищно строителство на Тинкер, която препоръчва срещу стимулите тази четвърт

. , След стрелбата на Браун, каза той, регионалният мениджър Бейли го накара да се увери, че номерата на поддръжката отговарят на целта на таксата за стимулиране чрез масажиране на записите. Компанията започва да се възползва от техническа известност като "политика за изключение на работните поръчки", за да запази печелившите такси за стимулиране, според Whittington и документи.

Съгласно договорите за жилища на Пентагона, когато искането за поддръжка не може да бъде завършено навреме, защото е смекчаващо В зависимост от обстоятелствата, наемодателите могат да подадат „изключение“, така че работното нареждане да не се брои срещу тях.

Whittington заяви, че е прочистил по-късните заявки за поддръжка и е редактирал записите, за да включи изключения от правилата за времето за отговор.

"Срамно, спазих", каза Уитингтън.

На следващата пролет, 17 април 2017 г., осем жители се обадиха по заявки за поддръжка и според официалните документи всички осем поискаха работата да бъде извършена по-късно от необходимото, на 20 април, според обмен на имейли с Tinker жилищния офис. Без тези изключения всичките осем работни места щяха да закъснят, като се вземе предвид целта на Balfour.

Както и миналата година, Balfour Beatty все още разчиташе на изключения. Tinker е имал около 1850 поръчки за работа през 2018 г .; повече от 1100 са попаднали в изключение за времевата политика, показват данните.

Компанията твърди, че често е използвала изключения в Tinker, започвайки през 2016 г. През 2018 г., Balfour Beatty, той и Военновъздушните сили въведоха нов процес за записване на работа заповеди, включително използването на изключения.

Командването на гражданското строителство на ВВС, или AFCEC, каза, че работи с Balfour Beatty за коригиране на „предизвикателствата“.

Мелоди Марш, регионален мениджър на AFCEC, защитава компанията. През май 2017 г. един жител покани служител на жилище в Tinker в дома си, за да станат свидетели на продължително изтичане. Марш се скара на служителя да влезе в дома без представител на Балфур Бийти. "Това не показва партньорски подход", пише тя.

През август 2017 г., след като жилищната служба на Tinker предостави на AFCEC доказателства, че Balfour Beatty претендира за фалшиви изключения, служителите на Tinker настояват за ограничаване на таксите. Marsh отхвърли препоръката.

„AFCEC не се съгласява, че вашият отговор потвърждава намаляване на стимулите за награди“, пише Марш.

Marsh не отговори на молба за коментар.

Предупрежденията продължиха. През декември 2017 г. AFCEC се съгласи да намали малка част – 3,8% – на таксите за стимулиране на Balfour Beatty за второто и третото тримесечие на 2017 г.

Миналия ноември жилищната служба на Tinker помоли Марш и инженерния център на ВВС да разследват Balfour Бийти, предсказвайки тежки последствия, ако не се предприемат действия. "При продължителна неадекватна поддръжка, нашата собственост няма да издържи 50-годишен жизнен цикъл", пише Марш.

Марш отказа, отговаряйки в кореспонденция, че разследванията са "неефективни и изключително непродуктивни". През май съседите се събраха на улица Мънъл, за да обсъдят тези борби с репортер на Ройтерс.

Дерек Русе, инспектор по военноморски флот, каза, че той и съпругата му Дженифър са помолили Balfour Beatty от години да спре дъждовната вода да проникне в дома им. През април Balfour Beatty отбеляза работно нареждане от Rouses, което приключи навреме, твърдейки, че е фиксирало задната врата на двойката, като е монтирало ново време. Репортерът огледа вратата.

Не съм инсталирал нови метеорологични условия.

"Летях в 4 часа сутринта, а в 6 часа получавам обаждане от съпругата ми, че къщата отново тече", каза Дерек. "Поставям живота си на линия и не трябва да се занимавам с това."

Допълнително докладване от Джошуа Шнайър и Дебора Нелсън

Засада в дома

От M.B. Pell

Редактиране на снимки: Steve McKinley

Дизайн: Pete Hausler

Редактирано от Ronnie Greene


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