KBR Inc. was selected for a no-bid contract worth as much as $568 million through 2011 for military support services in Iraq, despite the fact that The Dept. of Justice is pursuing a lawsuit against the company for fraud. The Army also awarded the work to KBR over objections from members of Congress, who have pushed the Pentagon to seek bids for further logistics contracts. The False Claims Act lawsuit, filed by whistleblowers alleging that two freight-forwarding firms gave KBR transportation department employees kickbacks in the form of meals, drinks, sports tickets and golf outings.
KBR will continue to provide services in Iraq such as housing, meals, laundry, showers, water purification and bathroom cleaning under the new order, which was placed under a military contract KBR won in late 2001, shortly after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. The no-bid work order is unusual because the Army, at the insistence of Congress, has since April 2008 put all logistics orders to bid, pitting KBR against Falls Church, Virginia-based DynCorp International Inc. and Irving, Texas-based Fluor Corp.
The Army didn’t put this work out for bids because U.S. commanders in Iraq advised against it, saying that enlisting a new company would be too disruptive as the U.S withdraws.