Pentagon Fines KBR…Then Gives it a $2.8 Billion Contract

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Accused of performing faulty electrical work that may have led to the deaths of American soldiers, defense contractor KBR should have no trouble making up for the $25 million it lost after the Department of Defense decided to withhold payment on certain awards because of the controversy. That’s because the day after the Pentagon in effect fined KBR, it chose to give the company another contract…with a potential worth of $2.8 billion.

KBR has been the U.S. military’s largest logistics contractor in Iraq, responsible for delivering mail, meals, laundry and other services to troops. Its work has included maintaining barracks, where at least 18 soldiers have died of electrocution.
KBR critic Charles Tiefer, professor of government contracting at the University of Baltimore Law School, told the Associated Press it was outrageous for the company to receive another contract from the Defense Department. “Giving KBR this contract while denying them award fees for their enormous problem of accidentally electrocuting soldiers amounts to rapping them on the knuckles on one hand while handing them a multibillion dollar deal in the other,” said Tiefer, a member of the independent Commission on Wartime Contracting In Iraq and Afghanistan.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Army Awards Lucrative Iraq Support Contract to KBR (by Kimberly Hefling and Richard Lardner, Associated Press)


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