Sunday, October 31, 2004

Contract officer warned against Halliburton deal


Extension granted anyway

By Larry Margasak
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Army extended a Halliburton Co. troop support contract over the objections of a top contracting officer, even contending - and then withdrawing - a claim that U.S. forces faced an emergency if the company didn't get the extra work.

ELECTION 2004
John Kerry
Election 2004 section
Enquirer's election guide

SUNDAY FORUM
Going back to 'college'
Our choices for Tuesday
Issue 4 is affordable way for city to improve
Issue 4 would hurt city, help taxpayers little
Bush is best choice to fight terrorists
More letters: The election of 2004

NATIONAL
Bin Laden tape fodder in presidential contest
Electoral College 'tied,' too
Contract officer warned against Halliburton deal
Cheney to woo Aloha State
Gore gets lei before VP does

OHIO
Election paranoia running rampant
Final push: Get voters excited
Rallies, caravans, calls: Voting day must be near
On the streets, door to door, citizens rally for school issues
Direct mail still potent for candidates
Remember my name!
Campaign notebook
A survival guide to voting in Ohio (PDF file, 12k)

KENTUCKY
Crowley: GOP forfeits high ground in Senate race
Voters anxious for election
Some candidates endorse Ky. importing drugs from Canada
Getting out all the votes
Lakeside Park candidates oppose possibility of merger
Parties seek gains Tuesday in Ky.'s divided legislature
Amendment won't be last word, foes say
Voters turn to Bible for ballot guidance
Senate campaign comes down to barbs over Ten Commandments

"I wrote directly on the document the weaknesses ... so that all could clearly see," contracting official Bunnatine Greenhouse wrote a top general this month in questioning the extended troop support contract in the Balkans.

Greenhouse has had problems with the $2 billion contract at least since January 2002, when she wrote, "There is little or no incentive for the contractor to reduce or keep cost down."

The contracting officer has gone public with allegations of favoritism toward the company once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Greenhouse complained, in writing, Oct. 5 to Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, that the Corps should not have halted plans to let companies compete for a successor Balkans contract. She is the Corps' top contracting officer.

Corps officials initially justified stopping the bidding by concluding that a "compelling emergency" would exist if Halliburton's work were to be interrupted.

When Greenhouse challenged the justification and sought an explanation of the emergency, however, Corps officials changed their reasoning. The new explanation was that Halliburton subsidiary KBR was the "one and only" company that could do the job.

Greenhouse, who has said she was frozen out of decisions on Halliburton, went public last weekend with allegations that Army officials showed favoritism to the company.

The FBI has asked Greenhouse's lawyers for an interview with her. The bureau has launched a criminal investigation of Halliburton's no-bid work.

The Balkans contract was to have ended May 27 but has been extended through next April.

Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said, "The issue mentioned about the Balkans was fully dealt with and resolved several years ago, and since then KBR has received high marks from the Army on our Balkans Support Contract."

In a letter to Corps employees on Friday, Strock said the Army is investigating Greenhouse's allegations and therefore would not respond to the allegations "to ensure that a fair investigation can proceed."

The Army has cited severe problems with Halliburton's work in the Balkans.




ELECTION 2004
Election paranoia running rampant
Final push: Get voters excited
A survival guide to voting in Ohio (PDF file, 12k)
Rallies, caravans, calls: Voting day must be near
Bin Laden tape fodder in presidential contest
Electoral College 'tied,' too
Contract officer warned against Halliburton deal
Cheney to woo Aloha State
Gore gets lei before VP does
On the streets, door to door, citizens rally for school issues
Direct mail still potent for candidates
Remember my name!
Campaign notebook
Voters anxious for election
Some candidates endorse Ky. importing drugs from Canada
Getting out all the votes
Lakeside Park candidates oppose possibility of merger
Parties seek gains Tuesday in Ky.'s divided legislature
Amendment won't be last word, foes say
Voters turn to Bible for ballot guidance
Senate campaign comes down to barbs over Ten Commandments
Election 2004 section

TOP LOCAL HEADLINES
Police seek 3 men suspected in break-in, assault
National Guard tries new ways to entice recruits
As DNA backlog clears, Ohio police get leads in 210 cases
Pregnant smokers studied
Woman shot in sister's Price Hill apt. dies
Ethical concerns focus on eye surgery
Local news briefs

KENTUCKY HEADLINES
Boone aims to keep road from slipping into river
Family that kickboxes together stays together
Property value, tax soar
Pa. firm to design bridge linking Louisville, Indiana
Private prison not fined over violations, paper says
Northern Kentucky news briefs

EDUCATION
Schools hope to keep gains while cutting staff
Staff-trimming always painful
'It's a great day at Dixie' and enrollment proves it

NEIGHBORS
It took a village to free her
Loveland rolls back property tax 1 mill
Townships, I-71 corridor may get business recruiter

LIVES REMEMBERED
Bob Patterson, former CCD English teacher
Realty firm co-founder Thomas Duffy
Mary LaVelle keeper of keys at church
Richard K. Fritsche, 84, model maker

ENQUIRER COLUMNS
Crowley: GOP forfeits high ground in Senate race
Bronson: Guide to Iraq
Catwalk's not for cats