by David Phinney
Saturday August 24th 2019

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Pust to Privatize Walter Reed Eyed for Role in

The Bush Administration’s management agenda to compete up to 50 percent of all government jobs against contractor bids from private companies wanting to do the same work may be responsible for the deterrorating conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
At issue is a January 2006 memorandum from Garrison Commander Peter Garibaldi claiming that the privatization efforts of Walter Reed’s staff was causing an exodus of “highly skilled and experienced personnel.” As a result, WRAMC Base Operations and patient care services are “at risk of mission failure.”
The memorandum was brought to light Friday by California House Democrat Henry Waxman, who chairs the House committee on oversight and government reform. A subcommitte of that panel will be holding a hearing on Monday addressing the issue.
IAP Worldwide Services took over
According to multiple sources, the decision to privatize support services at Walter Reed led to a precipitous drop in support personnel at Walter Reed. Prior to the award of the contract, there were over 300 federal employees providing facilities management and related services at Walter Reed. By February 3, 2007, the day before IAP took over facilities management, the number of support personnel had dropped to under 60.
Several sources corroborated key portions of the memorandum. We have learned that in January 2006, Walter Reed awarded a five-year, $120 million contract to a company called IAP Worldwide Services for base operations support services, including facilities management. IAP is one of the companies that experienced problems delivering ice during the response to Hurricane Katrina. The company is led by Al Neffgen, a former senior Halliburton official who testified before our Committee in July 2004 in defense of Halliburton’s exorbitant charges for fuel delivery and troop support in Iraq.

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