WASHINGTON - July 22 - The House Committee on Government Reform today will hold a hearing entitled, "Contracting and the Rebuilding of Iraq: Part IV." Witnesses scheduled to appear include Halliburton/KBR whistleblowers and executives. "The public has heard the government's side of the story, now it's time to hear from the people who have witnessed contracting malfeasance and from the company that is at the center of a lot of controversy," stated Scott Amey for the Project On Government Oversight (POGO).
In January, Michael West approached POGO to share his troubling tale as a contract employee in Iraq. Mr. West worked for a Halliburton subsidiary, Services Employees International, Inc. (SEII), contracted to provide support services to the Army in Iraq. POGO assisted Mr. West in making his allegations public, paving the way for him to relate his experience at a congressional hearing, and working with Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA).
Mr. West tells a story of unprofessional procedures and wasteful spending. "It is a disconcerting story and raises serious concerns about how government contractors are rebuilding Iraq," Amey said. He expressed concerns about hiring practices, noting that there was little, if any, screening.
Work was scarce and SEII employees were forced to make up jobs 90% of the time in order to stay occupied. Mr. West stated that working in Iraq "was no different from getting paid to sit on your couch at home. We did not help the military, but rather the military helped us."
The hearing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. today in Room 2154 Rayburn House Office Building.
The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) investigates, exposes, and seeks to remedy systemic abuses of power, mismanagement, and subservience by the federal government to powerful special interests. Founded in 1981, POGO is a politically-independent, nonprofit watchdog that strives to promote a government that is accountable to the citizenry.