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Army Ends Halliburton Deal in Iraq

THE WORLD

July 12, 2006|From the Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Army is discontinuing a controversial multibillion-dollar deal with oil services giant Halliburton Co. to provide logistical support to U.S. troops worldwide.

The decision comes after several years of attacks by critics who saw the contract as a symbol of politically connected corporations profiteering on the Iraq war.

Under the deal, Halliburton had exclusive rights to provide the military with a wide range of work that included keeping troops around the globe fed, sheltered and in communication with friends and family back home.

Government audits turned up more than $1 billion in questionable costs.

Whistle-blowers said the company charged $45 a case for sodas, double-billed on meals and allowed troops to bathe in contaminated water.

Halliburton officials have strenuously denied the allegations.

Army officials Tuesday defended the company's performance but acknowledged that reliance on a single contractor left the government vulnerable.

The Pentagon's new plan will split the work among three companies, to be chosen this fall, and a fourth firm will monitor their performance.

Halliburton will be eligible to bid on the work.

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