WASHINGTON - August 19 - The government should consider suspending or debarring Halliburton from receiving future government contracts given their inability to account for $1.8 billion and numerous cases of corporate misconduct. (see Center for Public Integrity http://www.publicintegrity.org/wow/report.aspx?aid=366&sid=100 ).
By law, the federal government is prohibited from doing future business with risky companies. Halliburtons accounting fiasco is the clearest example we have seen in years that merits suspension or debarment by the government. Halliburton is treating our nations taxpayer dollars like Monopoly money, said Danielle Brian, Executive Director of the Project On Government Oversight (POGO).
Many of the U.S. government's largest contractors were found to have repeatedly broken the law or engaged in misconduct, according to investigations by POGO in 2001 and 2002. However, they were, at that time, never even temporarily suspended or debarred from gaining additional government contracts, contrary to Reagan/Bush era laws.
Since POGOs investigation, federal officials have more closely followed laws that require the government to bar unethical companies from government contracts. As a result, for the first time in more than a decade, major contractors involved in misconduct were recently suspended from government contracts including Enron, MCI/Worldcom, and defense contractor Boeing.
Halliburton has been one of the fastest-growing defense contractors, seeing increases of government revenues go from $483 million in FY 2002 to $3.92 billon in FY 2003, according to the Department of Defense. As a result their ranking went from 37 th largest to 7 th largest defense contractor.
For more background information, see:
--Testimony of POGO's Danielle Brian before the George Washington School of Law Regarding "Suspension & Debarment: Emerging Issues in Law and Policy" http://www.pogo.org/p/contracts/ct-031101-debarment.html
--POGOs 2002 report and database Federal Contractor Misconduct: Failures of the Suspension and Debarment System at http://www.pogo.org/p/contracts/co-020505-contractors.html