Dick Cheney- Corporate Criminal

Auditor to Army: Dock Halliburton Pay

Wednesday November 24, 11:08 AM EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army should withhold 15 percent of future payments to Halliburton (HAL) for work in Iraq due to billing disputes, a government auditor said on Wednesday, a move that could cost the contractor tens of millions of dollars.

Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, said in a memorandum to Army auditors and commanders he believed U.S. contract laws requiring a 15 percent withholding if certain conditions were not met should be imposed on Halliburton unit Kellogg Brown and Root.
Run by Vice President Dick Cheney from 1995-2000, Halliburton has been bogged down in a long-running billing dispute with the U.S. military, and government investigators are looking into whether the company overcharged for work.

The Houston-based company is the U.S. military's biggest contractor in Iraq with the potential to earn up to $18 billion for multiple contracts there, with tasks ranging from cooking meals for troops to rebuilding Iraq's oil industry.

Bowen said based on their "limited audit work," he supported military auditors' proposals last August for the Army to implement the withholding. Documents then indicated the company had not provided enough details to support at least $1.82 billion out of $4.3 billion of logistical work.
"We agree with U.S. Army Materiel Command and DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency) positions (on the withholding issue)," said Bowen in the memorandum.

In August, the U.S. Army backed down from a recommendation to dock some payments for KBR's massive logistics contract serving U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait and said it was trying to resolve billing problems with the company.

Linda Theis, a spokeswoman for Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Illinois, said late Tuesday no decision had been taken yet on whether to withhold 15 percent.

Halliburton did not immediately respond to questions about Bowen's memorandum but in the past the company has strongly defended its work in Iraq and says it has been targeted for political reasons because of its former ties to Cheney.

Post a Comment