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Old 12-05-2019, 02:53 PM
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Thumbs up Private contractors face grilling over poor conditions in military housing

Private contractors face grilling over poor conditions in military housing
By: Mike Glenn - Washington Times - 12-5-19

Rep. Kendra Horn recalls a town hall meeting in January when the Oklahoma Democrat first heard about deplorable housing conditions at Tinker Air Force Base, located within her district. A military spouse showed her photographs of black mold and other toxic conditions that she and her family were forced to endure.

“I was angry and frustrated and was hoping it was a limited problem. Sadly, it was not,” Ms. Horn said Thursday as a House Armed Services subcommittee focused on mounting complaints about the state of privatized military housing.

Balfour Beatty Communities, which manages the homes at Tinker Air Force Base and more than 50 other military facilities throughout the nation, was represented at the hearing along with officials from four other companies. The Air Force is investigating reports Balfour Beatty employees doctored maintenance records so the company could receive incentive bonuses from the government.

Richard C. Taylor, president of facility operations, renovations and construction for Balfour Beatty, insisted the company is undergoing a “transformation” about how they operate.

“We are working hard to regain the trust and confidence of our residents and our military partners. We have learned a lot [and] it is truly humbling,” Mr. Taylor said.

“You have a lot of work to do,” Ms. Horn said.

Mr. Taylor, who spent 12 years in the Navy as a civil engineer, said the creation of his position was part of that company-wide overhaul. The company is also beefing up its customer service training and working with regional engineering specialist whenever concerns about toxic homes are raised. Mr. Taylor said they are cooperating with the Department of Justice and have hired an outside counsel to conduct their own inquiry into charges of doctored records.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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