US Sues Contractor KBR Over Iraq Bills


* From Military. Com via AP *

WASHINGTON — The federal government sued KBR Inc., the largest contractor in Iraq, on Thursday over what prosecutors say were improper charges to the Army for private security services.

Houston-based KBR Inc. is a former subsidiary of Halliburton Co. It recently won a new contract potentially worth more than $2 billion for support work in the country.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington charged that KBR and 33 of its subcontractors used private armed security at various times from 2003 to 2006. The suit claimed KBR knew under the terms of its contract the company could not bill the U.S. government for such services but did so anyway.

While the lawsuit is a contractual dispute, the case highlights what became a confusing question in the U.S. occupation of Iraq: What authority did private contractors have to carry weapons and use force in the unstable country?

KBR reported 2009 revenues of $4.8 billion from work under the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, according to the independent Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But under the terms of that program, prosecutors said, KBR was to provide logistical support, such as food services, transportation, laundry and mail for U.S. military operations in Iraq. Security protection was to be provided by the U.S. military under the terms of the contract.

Read more at Military.Com


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