Millions in U.S. property lost in Iraq, report says; Halliburton claims figures only ‘projections’

July 27, 2004 | Bloomberg News

Halliburton Co. has lost $18.6 million of government property in Iraq, about a third of the items it was given to manage, including trucks, computers and office furniture, government auditors claim.

The auditors couldn’t account for 6,975 of 20,531 items on the ledgers of Halliburton’s KBR unit, according to a report by Stuart Bowen, auditor for the coalition provisional authority inspector general.

Halliburton is providing services to U.S. troops under a contract that has generated $3.2 billion in revenue so far.

“This occurred because KBR did not effectively manage government property,” Bowen wrote. “As a result, we projected that KBR could not account for 6,975 property items from an inventory of 20,531 valued at $61.1 million.”

Halliburton is under investigation by the Justice Department for allegedly overcharging the military by $61 million for fuel purchases.

Democrats accuse the Bush administration of favoring the company because of its former connections to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Halliburton disagrees with the new audit, said company spokeswoman Cathy Gist.

“The examination simply included projections that were based on limited sample groups that were not necessarily a representative selection amount, which could have provided a more accurate measure,” Gist said in an e-mailed statement. “The facts show that (KBR) has adequately managed the property for this mission by aggressively monitoring its property management functions above and beyond what is required for government approval of a property control system.”

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