Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Where did the rest of the $42.5 million go if it only costs $500,000 to construct a CNG plant in Afghanistan?

And why is this being touted as the loss of $800 million?




> Where did the rest of the $42.5 million go if it only costs $500,000 to construct a CNG plant in Afghanistan?

When this question was being investigated, it turned out that the construction was managed by an agency that no longer exists (as of a year ago iirc), and that there were absolutely no records kept and no way to answer how the money was spent for this project, or for $750 million worth of other projects that they managed.


They spent $42.5mm on the station. Other comparable stations in the region cost ~$500k. The title is a little misleading. The Pentagon asserts they cannot provide information on the gas station project because it was part of a discontinued program with a total budget of $800mm. Thus, the extrapolation that they have no idea where any of the total budget went.


Nitpick: Can we stick to ",000,000", "M", "e6", or even "kk" if really needed? "mm" are millimeters, or two "m"s - it really doesn't make sense for "million".


It's a common and widely accepted abbreviation: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Million


I know. It still doesn't make sense when people use k/M for 1,000, M/m/kk/MM/mm for 1,000,000 and B/MM/mm for 1,000,000,000. (sorted by ~popularity)

It's even more annoying when someone uses "k" and "mm" in the same post, since the whole idea of "mm" comes from repeating roman "M" (1,000). So why not stick to k/kk (WoW-style) or M/MM (almost-roman style)?

At least "k" and "M" are based on some kind of standard.


From the link: "It is commonly abbreviated as m or M; further MM [...], mm, or mn in financial contexts." Note the semicolon.

Also note that the only cited source additionally claims that "M" is often used to indicate one thousand, as in $60,000 = $60M, which for all I know may be true in the financial world but is definitely not true for anyone outside that world who wants to be understood.


Is it really? Your link says:

  It is commonly abbreviated as [...] mm, or mn in financial contexts.[5][better source needed]


It can't be an abbreviation as that refers to subtractions of letters existing in the word and I only count one 'm' in millions.

Yes it's pedantry and yes I understand that 'mm' is in someways a convention but it's a terrible one.


As long as we're being pedantic, abbreviation does not refer strictly to "subtractions of letters existing in the word," it is any shortened form of a word or phrase.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbreviation (see especially the section on plural forms)

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_eng...

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abbreviation


How is adding non-existent letters any form of abbreviation?

That's all I was stating.


Because it is a shorter form of the word it abbreviates. 'mm' is shorter than 'millions'.


> Thus, the extrapolation that they have no idea where any of the total budget went.

This is patently false. We know where the money went. Toilet seats. Lots and lots of (very comfortable) toilet seats[1].

[1] http://articles.latimes.com/1986-07-30/news/vw-18804_1_nut


The infamous "toilet seats" were actually what people would usually think of as a whole toilet without the plumbing parts. And they were specialized pieces that had to fit in a very specific place on a combat aircraft and meet lots of exacting specifications.

Saying the military paid $640 for the same kind of toilet seat you might put on your toilet at home is more than a little misleading.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_seat#US_Navy.27s_.22.24...


Not the kind of toilet seat you are talking about, but you can easily spend that kind of money for a home toilet seat: https://www.liftcaregiving.com/shop/products/urinary-tract-i... (Not an endorsement -- I just grabbed it at random from a Google search).

I actually do have a similar type of toilet seat (as do most other people in Japan). Some optional extras you can get on toilet seats include a heated seat (highly recommended if you don't have heat in your house) and a fan that vents odours.

There are only 2 furnishings in my house that I wouldn't give up. One is the toilet seat and the other is a bath that pours itself and maintains a constant temperature with a recirculating pump. Worth every penny and more.


Thanks for the clarification. I'm assuming you probably can't help me find a sarcasm detector for $640?



> Lots and lots of (very comfortable) toilet seats

If they were made for the military, I can just about guarantee that they weren't at all comfortable no matter how much they cost.


Because the CNG station was only one project under the $800M TFBSO program. Quoting slide 2:

"Frankly, I find it both shocking and incredible that DOD asserts that it no longer has any knowledge about TFBSO, an $800 million program that reported directly to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and only shut down a little over six months ago."


Remaining must have gone in bribery which they cannot show on the books or to be show as agent charges :)




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: