U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, wants the federal government to establish a “tenants’ bill of rights” for privatized military housing after the revelation this week of dangerous conditions at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, WOAI reported.
Reuters reported last week that British company Balfour Beatty failed to eliminate mold and asbestos in Lackland privatized base housing and pressured employees to falsify maintenance records so it could collect millions of dollars in performance bonuses. Castro called the alleged actions by the company “the definition of immoral.”
Similar allegations have arisen at Air Force bases in Oklahoma and Montana, WOAI noted. Balfour Beatty kept two sets of records at Tinker Air Force Base – one that it presented to the federal government showing timely repairs and a second, and more accurate, log that showed tardiness in repairing conditions that ranged from leaks to mold, Reuters reported. A former manager admitted to Reuters that “we fudged the numbers.”
“This is an affront to the men and women in the military,” Castro said, demanding that the company “be held accountable.”
The FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations have announced fraud investigations at three other bases where Balfour Beatty also serves as landlord. John Henderson, the Air Force assistant secretary for installations, told Reuters he was “concerned” about the findings at Lackland and has referred the matter to the Office of Special Investigations.