March 28, 2003 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Halliburton out of the running for the $600 billion contract to rebuild Iraqs infrastructure. Andrew Natsios, director of the USAID, which is handing out most of the postwar contracts, is keen to counter any allegations of favoritism or political influence. "If I got a phone call from anybody putting any political pressure on me, I would report it immediately". Halliburton is the company formerly run by Dick Cheney, VP of the United States.
posted by stbalbach (19 comments total)
wait, I was certain that that was the only reason we were even going to war.
posted by Mick at 4:11 PM on March 28, 2003

isn't it a 600 _million_ contract?
posted by matteo at 4:12 PM on March 28, 2003

Yeah. $600 million. Its a small part of what is to come.

What are the two official firms in the running? Bechtel and Fluor?'
posted by pjgulliver at 4:19 PM on March 28, 2003

This article doesn't mention Halliburton's oil firefighting contract...which was awarded well before the war began. (March 6, in Forbes.) Don't feel too bad for Halliburton, I'm sure they'll still get a cut of that supplemental $74.7 billion the President asked for.
posted by pb at 4:22 PM on March 28, 2003


oh, you cynics.

Well, at least, if nothing else, they're trying to make sure Halliburton doesn't get a HUGE chunk.
posted by cinderful at 4:32 PM on March 28, 2003

There are 7 oil wells on fire. They will get %5 over cost to put them out. Its nothing. The point is Halliburton is tainted politically in no small part to the public uproar. The chances of it getting additional contracts just went way down. In addition foreign firms are being looked at for future work not just American ones. I would think there would be dancing in the streets over this victory of Democracy in action. It shows how Washington works, money is spent by the President there are lots of safeguards to prevent abuse.
posted by stbalbach at 4:34 PM on March 28, 2003

Man, just when I was clueing in to buy Halliburton stock, the political croneyism bubble bursts.
posted by hammurderer at 4:55 PM on March 28, 2003

Why was this project bid as an invited contractor procurement, rather than an open bid to any contractor who thought they could handle it. Let them bid, and then review their qualifications. Just because someone lowballs the bid, doesn't mean they are required to take it.

Military bids work this way. It is just not a matter of the lowest bid, but the lowest bid by the most qualified firm, and those things are all quantitative.

Or allow people to pre-qualify, rather than just inviting some people who might have given to your campaign. The Department of Transportation has a really good prequalification procedure, and it works well for them.
posted by benjh at 4:56 PM on March 28, 2003

Dr. Evil: Here's the plan. We get the warhead, and we hold the world ransomed for.....ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!

No.2: Ahem...well, don't you think we should maybe ask for *more* than a million dollars? I mean, a million dollars isn't exactly a lot of money these days. Virtucon alone makes over nine billion dollars a year!

Dr. Evil: Really?

No.2: Mm-hmm.

I also appreciate this performance even more
posted by matteo at 5:28 PM on March 28, 2003

see? it pays to raise a stink about things.
posted by mcsweetie at 6:58 PM on March 28, 2003

The article goes on to say "though the Houston-based firm could take part as a subcontractor," so really, it seems Halliburton is not out of the running all together.
posted by Blake at 7:11 PM on March 28, 2003

pb, I quote the article:

On Monday, the U.S. Army announced it had awarded a contract to extinguish oil fires and restore oil infrastructure in Iraq to Halliburton’s Kellogg, Brown & Root engineering and construction division. Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, later sent a letter to Lt. Gen. Robert Flowers, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, questioning why other oil-service companies had not been allowed to bid.
posted by swank6 at 9:01 PM on March 28, 2003

Regardless, whoever gets any contracts in Iraq, be they for putting out fires or for planting daisies, has a great opportunity to earn future contracts both from the U.S. in Iraq, and investors there. That's one of many people's largest feuds with the "trust fund oil" for the Iraqis. Whoever gets the contract to extract the oil will likely get finder's fees, set-up fees, and basically make as much money as the actual oil is worth.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:53 PM on March 28, 2003

We need to liberate the iraqis from the shackles of shoddy GSM phone service!
posted by delmoi at 2:43 AM on March 29, 2003

Chalk this minor victory up to Jon Stewart
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:28 AM on March 29, 2003

The critical line seems to be here:
U.N. official who follows the issue told NEWSWEEK that the Iraq reconstruction contract probably wasn’t worth the bad publicity for Halliburton, which depends on maintaining a favorable image both in Washington and the Arab world (where it gets much of its oil-related business, and where the war is increasingly unpopular). "This kind of political controversy was not in their corporate interests," he said. Halliburton may prefer to quietly work as a subcontractor rather than be in the spotlight as prime contractor, the official suggested.

So, Halliburton really does have some sort of favored status, the relevant question is, how much money can they make and still stay out of the spotlight.

That's probably still quite a bit -- the news media just isn't very good at shining a light on the same place for very long.
posted by mattpfeff at 7:48 AM on March 29, 2003

erm, " ... assuming Halliburton really does have some sort of favored status", that is. (sorry)
posted by mattpfeff at 7:49 AM on March 29, 2003

Best people for the job. Why are people criticizing foresight on the part of the government?
posted by effer27 at 7:56 AM on March 29, 2003

Halliburton, or more precisely Cheney, will get their share. No way the neo-conservatives are going to let the golden goose slip out of their fingers. Just out of the limelight.
posted by sic at 4:10 PM on March 29, 2003

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