Another division of the federal government this year questioned the amount Bechtel said would be needed to maintain trailers shipped to Mississippi to house people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Bechtel was one of several companies tapped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to supply housing. A review by the Defense Contract Audit Agency, however, questioned $48 million of Bechtel's estimates for trailer maintenance. That led U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, a Los Angeles Democrat and a frequent Bechtel critic, to say the company was trying to double-bill the government.
Menaker called the problem an error and said it was immediately corrected. He added that the company never charged the government the disputed amount. Rather, he said the incident shows how federal contracts are supposed to work. Bechtel gave a cost estimate, the government reviewed it and corrected mistakes, and the work was able to proceed.
"It's a good example of the system working, under federal auditors," he said. "It's also a good case of how the public was not double billed."
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