Army was unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for the decision
to prevent General Weightman from testifying," committee members said
in a statement today.
The committee wants to learn more about a letter written in September by Garrison Commander Peter Garibaldi to Weightman.
memorandum "describes how the Army's decision to privatize support
services at Walter Reed Army Medical Center was causing an exodus of
'highly skilled and experienced personnel,'" the committee's letter
states. "According to multiple sources, the decision to privatize
support services at Walter Reed led to a precipitous drop in support
personnel at Walter Reed."
The letter said Walter Reed also
awarded a five-year, $120-million contract to IAP Worldwide Services,
which is run by Al Neffgen, a former senior Halliburton official.
also found that more than 300 federal employees providing facilities
management services at Walter Reed had drooped to fewer than 60 by Feb.
3, 2007, the day before IAP took over facilities management. IAP
replaced the remaining 60 employees with only 50 private workers.
conditions that have been described at Walter Reed are disgraceful,"
the letter states. "Part of our mission on the Oversight Committee is
to investigate what led to the breakdown in services. It would be
reprehensible if the deplorable conditions were caused or aggravated by
an ideological commitment to privatize government services regardless
of the costs to taxpayers and the consequences for wounded soldiers."