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September 9, 2004

Halliburton to lose Iraq contract—report

WASHINGTON

Halliburton Co.’s multibillion-dollar contract for work to support U.S. troops in Iraq will be put back up for bids, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal said Tuesday an internal army memo indicates the move is planned within months. The company, formerly headed by Vice-President Dick Cheney, has come under intense scrutiny amid allegations of overcharging and poor accounting.

The value of the contract, to feed and house U.S. troops in Iraq, is valued at up to $13 billion (U.S.).

The Journal quoted a Halliburton spokeswoman as saying the move was expected and that its Kellogg Brown & Root unit may bid again for parts of the work. The awarding of the no-bid contract to Halliburton has been attacked by Democrats because of Cheney’s connections to the company.

Cheney led Halliburton from 1995 to 2000.

Last month, Pentagon auditors urged the U.S. army to start withholding millions of dollars in payments to Halliburton until the company justified its bills.

Various government agencies are investigating several aspects of Halliburton’s work in Iraq, including allegations of kickbacks by Kuwaiti subcontractors and improper charges totalling hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Associated Press

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