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Army ending exclusive contract with Halliburton in wake of legal problems

[JURIST] The US Army [official website] plans to discontinue a contract to provide logistical support to US troops with oil services giant Halliburton [corporate website; JURIST news archive], the Washington Post reported Wednesday. Halliburton has served as the exclusive contractor in Iraq, and Army officials said cutting ties with Halliburton is a move to employ multiple contractors in a bid to find better prices, greater accountability and better protection if one contractor does not perform.

Halliburton, formerly led by Vice President Dick Cheney, has faced a series of legal problems over the last two years. Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) [corporate website] has been accused of contract abuse [JURIST report] for overcharging on goods and services, prompting the US Department of Justice [official website] to consider opening a formal investigation [JURIST report], and a former KBR employee pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to accepting bribes and defrauding the US government when awarding a contract to an Iraqi company in 2004. Late last year, five workers filed a federal lawsuit [JURIST report] against Halliburton for failing to pay their workers in Iraq and Kuwait millions of dollars in overtime pay in violation of contracts with the Army, claiming that Halliburton forced its employees to work 80 to 100 hours a week without extra pay. Reuters has more. Wednesday's Washington Post has additional coverage.

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