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Halliburton bills taxpayers $45 per case of soda, $100 per bag of laundry

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2004 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- Five former Halliburton employees and one former executive of a Halliburton subcontractor describe egregious examples of abuse involving Halliburton´┐Żs Iraq contracts. In a letter written by Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA), these whistleblowers describe instances where Halliburton employees would abandon or torch new trucks -- worth $80,000 -- if they acquired a flat tire or other minor mechanical problems. Halliburton would subsequently purchase new trucks with U.S. taxpayer dollars.

The former employees also described repeated instances of theft involving both Halliburton and Army personnel. One employee complained to Halliburton's KBR chief, Randy Harl, about the contracting abuse, but two weeks later he was fired.

Another former employee said Halliburton purchased soda for $45 per case and laundry bags for $100 each.

Employees billed the government for work even when they sat around and did nothing all day. These employees spent weeks in Iraq with virtually nothing to do, but were instructed by Halliburton to bill the government for 12 hours per day for seven days of work.

Halliburton also billed the government $1 million to house 100 employees for three months at a Kuwaiti hotel. Those costs could have been dramatically lower if tents, instead of a hotel, were used to house the employees. But a former employee said Haliburton's "corporate culture is one of intimidation and fear." Consequently, any vocal criticism of over-charging U.S. taxpayers is met with scorn and indignation.

Halliburton is paid a fee by the government of one to three percent of its costs for all purchases it makes. So, the company earns a higher fee if it illegally inflates its costs. Waxman's letter was written to the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform, Tom Davis (R-VA), after Davis refused requests by Democrats to hear the testimony of the former Halliburton workers.

More Information:

Statements of former employees: Henry S. Bunting | Marie DeYoung | James Warren | Mike West | David Wilson

Inspector general report on KBR's hotel costs in Kuwait (pdf file)