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Friday, April 11, 2003
"So, uh, Dick, about that Halliburton contract..."

Halliburton subsidiary KBR was awarded the contract to fight fires in Iraq without competition. On the bright side, the US$7bil estimate from before is overheated, and they've only (only!) gotten US$50mil so far. On the dark side, here's the Army Corp of Engineers' justification for the contract:

"To invite other contractors to compete to perform a highly classified requirement" that KBR already was involved in "would have been a wasteful duplication of effort" that would have delayed war planning, Flowers said, adding that the agreement was structured to control costs.

I think the proper analogy for this excuse is that this is a guy named Tony is building your house and he says "Hey, I brought my brother-in-law Marty to do the plumbing, and he's already doing it, so that's OK, right? It'll be cheaper that way, I promise." I guess they knew KBR was the cheapest because they didn't get any lower bids, did they?