By Lolita C. Baldor
Monday, September 5, 2005
An Arlington-based Halliburton Co. subsidiary that has been criticized for its reconstruction work in Iraq has begun tapping a $500 million Navy contract to do emergency repairs at Gulf Coast naval and Marine facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
The subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root Services Inc., won the competitive bid contract last July to provide debris removal and other emergency work associated with natural disasters.
Jan Davis, a spokeswoman for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, said yesterday that KBR would receive $12 million for work at the Naval Air Station at Pascagoula, Miss., the Naval Station at Gulfport, Miss., and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. KBR will receive $4.6 million for work at two smaller Navy facilities in New Orleans and others in the South.
The company has provided similar work after major disasters in the United States and abroad for more than 15 years, including in Florida after Hurricane Andrew.
KBR has been at the center of scrutiny for receiving a five-year, no-bid contract to restore Iraqi oil fields shortly before the war began in 2003. Halliburton has reported being paid $10.7 billion for Iraq-related government work during 2003 and 2004. The company reported its pretax profits from that work as $163 million. Pentagon auditors have questioned tens of millions of dollars of Halliburton charges for its operations there.
Last month three congressional Democrats asked Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to investigate the demotion of a senior civilian Army official, Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, who publicly criticized the awarding of that contract.
Vice President Cheney headed Halliburton from 1995 to 2000, and Democrats have questioned whether the firm received favorable treatment because of his connection.