Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Different Application Of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Money Down the Drain in Iraq - New York Times:
The latest contracting revelations came in a report issued Tuesday by the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. The office reviewed records covering $1.3 billion out of the $18.4 billion that Congress voted for Iraq reconstruction two years ago. Reported overhead costs ran from a low of 11 percent for several contracts awarded to Lucent to a high of 55 percent for, you guessed it, the Halliburton subsidiary, KBR Inc.

On similar projects in the United States, overhead is typically just a few percent. Given the difficult security environment in Iraq, overhead was expected to run closer to 10 percent. But in many of the contracts examined, it ran much, much higher, in some cases consuming over half the allocated funds. And the report may have actually underestimated total overhead because the government agencies that were supposed to be supervising these reconstruction projects sometimes failed to systematically track overhead expenses. (emphasis mine)
Just give the money to our friends at Haliburton, et al, and you can be sure it will get into the right pockets do some good. After all, money is everything. Isn't it?

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