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Congress refuses to hear testimony of new Halliburton contracting problems

14 June 2004

WASHINGTON, June 14 (Summary of Congressman Henry Waxman Letter) - Five former Halliburton employees and one former executive of a Halliburton subcontractor describe egregious examples of abuse involving Halliburton´┐Żs Iraq contracts. But the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform, Tom Davis (R-VA), refused requests by Democrats to hear the testimony of these individuals. In a letter to Davis, Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) said these whistleblowers describe instances where Halliburton employees would abandon or torch new trucks -- worth $80,000 -- if they acquired a flat tire or experienced minor mechanical problems. They 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 six pack 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 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.