January 15, 2004

Wyden Comments on Requested Halliburton Probe

Senator has warned of high costs of no-bid contracts in Iraq, urges DoD to act

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) praised the Defense Contracts Auditing Agency (DCAA) today for its decision to request further investigation into whether the Halliburton company and its subsidiary, Kellogg Brown and Root, overcharged American taxpayers in the execution of a fuel delivery contract in Iraq. Wyden, who has criticized large no-bid and limited-bid contracts for Iraq reconstruction, won passage with U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) of bipartisan legislation to ensure competition in the contracting process. He has also sought to limit the waste of taxpayer dollars in other areas during Iraq reconstruction, including fuel delivery. Wyden issued the following statement:"The request for further investigation into Halliburton and KBR's work on the Iraq fuel delivery contract is timely and appropriate. Questions have lingered far too long about both the propriety and the potential financial liabilities of huge, no-bid contracts in Iraq; it's time to root out the waste those contracts have bred, or put the questions to rest once and for all. The Department of Defense should open the inquiry without delay. As I said last week to Army Secretary [R.L "Les"] Brownlee in calling for further review, this is an important taxpayer issue. There are billions of dollars at stake and the trust of the American people is on the line."