U.S. Army to end "no-bid contract" deal with Halliburton *LINK*

U.S. Army to end "no-bid contract" deal with Halliburton *LINK*
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Tuesday, July 11, 2006 09:50 pm

Army to End Expansive, Exclusive Halliburton Deal
Logistics Contract to Be Open for Bidding

By Griff Witte
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 12, 2006; A01

The Army is discontinuing a controversial multibillion-dollar deal with oil services giant Halliburton Co. to provide logistical support to U.S. troops worldwide, a decision that could cut deeply into the firm\'s dominance of government contracting in Iraq.

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

Under the deal, Halliburton had exclusive rights to provide the military with a wide range of work that included keeping soldiers around the world fed, sheltered and in communication with friends and family back home. Government audits turned up more than $1 billion in questionable costs. Whistle-blowers told how the company charged $45 per case of soda, double-billed on meals and allowed troops to bathe in contaminated water.

Halliburton officials have denied the allegations strenuously. Army officials yesterday defended the company\'s performance but also 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, with a fourth firm hired to help monitor the performance of the other three. Halliburton will be eligible to bid on the work.

The decision on Halliburton comes as the U.S. contribution to Iraq\'s reconstruction begins to wane, reducing opportunities for U.S. companies after nearly four years of massive payouts to the private sector.