FBI Probe Launched

The FBI is investigating whether U.S. officials improperly awarded Vice President Dick Cheney's former company lucrative contract work without competition, a probe that was confirmed only days after a top Army contract officer raised the issue of favoritism.

The investigation expands an existing probe of whether Halliburton Co. overcharged for fuel deliveries in Iraq. The probe now includes the no-bid work awarded the company in Iraq, including restoration of the country's oil industry at a cost of $2.5 billion.

The expanded investigation is converging with statements made last weekend by Bunnatine Greenhouse, the chief contracting officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The FBI has requested an interview with Greenhouse, who said her agency unfairly awarded KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary, the Iraq work.


In a formal whistle-blower complaint filed last week, Greenhouse alleged the award of contracts without competition to KBR puts at risk "the integrity of the federal contracting program as it relates to a major defense contractor." The contracts were to restore Iraq's oil industry.

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