KBR and the food shortage in Baghdad

Lessons in corrupt contracting (and something increasingly relied upon by Western allies in Iraq):

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad paid millions to a government contractor for meals and snacks that nobody ate, according to a new internal State Department report.

The State Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the embassy overpaid by over $2 million, including over $1 million in snacks alone. The funds went to contractor KBR, the former subsidiary of Halliburton that runs food service for the over 1,500 employees of the world’s largest embassy complex.

“KBR’s headcount records from meals consumed do not match dining facility account records, and OIG was unable to reconcile the difference. These discrepancies suggest that in FY 2009 there were $2.23 million in unsupported food costs,” the report stated.

A significant part of the discrepancy was due to how people are counted when they stop by what’s called the “Grab-n-Go” snack stands at the embassy. This resulted in $970,000 dollars paid to KBR it didn’t deserve, the report explained.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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