Friday, June 24, 2005

Halliburton waste

OK, overspending by government contractors is nothing new, but CorpWatch has an article detailing wasteful practices by Halliburton in Iraq and Kuwait. Considering that Iraq is currently a war zone, some of the wasteful procedures seem as though they might be criminal if true; here's a snippet:
One statement came from David Wilson, a Halliburton employee charged with delivering supplies by from Camp Cedar II in southern Iraq to Camp Anaconda just north of Baghdad between November 2003 and March 2004. He explained that his supervisors didn't care what was being transported, so long as the trucks drove as many times as possible from one end of the country to the other.

"The paperwork I carried had no details about the contents of our cargo - basically all they were looking for was the number of trucks with freight on them (but) a related problem was that KBR would run trucks empty quite often," Wilson said. "Sometimes they would have five empty trucks, sometimes they would have a dozen. One time we ran 28 trucks and only one had anything on it. There were several times when we had empty trucks both on the way to Anaconda and then on the way back to Cedar II. I don't understand why KBR would have placed our lives in danger that way for no reason."

He also described what appeared to be a complete lack of cost controls and systems to maintain equipment properly. "When I arrived at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait last November, I noticed 50 to 100 brand new trucks sitting there unused," Wilson remembered. "Five months later, when I came home. A large number of trucks were still there, not being used. These are $85,000 (or more) Mercedes and Volvo trucks.

"As every other trucker working on those convoys will tell you, KBR had virtually no facilities in place to do maintenance on these trucks. There were absolutely no oil filters or fuel filters for months on end. I begged for filters but never got any. I was told that oil changes were out of the question. KBR removed all the spare tires in Kuwait. So when one of our trucks got a flat tire on the highway, we just had to leave it there for the Iraqis to loot, which is just crazy. I remember saying to myself when it happened, 'You just lost yourself an $85,000 truck because of a spare tire. We lost a truck because we didn't have $25 hydraulic line to assist the clutch.'"

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